Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what's considered healthy for his or her height.

Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Factors that might affect your weight include your genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods, and not being physically active.

Being obese increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers. If you are obese, losing even 5 to 10 percent of your weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases. For example, that means losing 10 to 20 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Obesity

The following features are indicative of Obesity:
  • increased body weight
  • increased body mass index
  • large body frame than average

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Common Causes of Obesity

The following are the most common causes of Obesity:
  • unhealthy diet
  • poor eating habits
  • no physical activities
  • drinking too much alcohol

Risk Factors for Obesity

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Obesity:
  • unhealthy diet
  • lack of exercise
  • psychological factors
  • socioeconomic factors
  • genetic factors
  • family lifestyle
  • medical problems
  • pregnancy
  • quitting smoking
  • lack of sleep

Prevention of Obesity

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Obesity. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • exercise regularly
  • follow a healthy eating plan
  • monitoring weight regularly

Occurrence of Obesity

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Obesity cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Obesity can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Obesity can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Obesity

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Obesity:
  • Physical exam: To measure height, vital signs and abdomen
  • Body mass index (BMI) calculation: To determine level of obesity
  • Measuring waist circumference: To determine level of obesity
  • Blood tests: To determine risk factors and any current symptoms

Doctor for Diagnosis of Obesity

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Obesity:
  • Endocrinologist

Complications of Obesity if untreated

Yes, Obesity causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Obesity is left untreated:
  • type 2 diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • asthma
  • sleep disorders
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • depression
  • low self-esteem and being bullied
  • behavior and learning problems
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • cancer
  • breathing disorders
  • gallbladder disease
  • infertility
  • gynecological problems
  • erectile dysfunction

Procedures for Treatment of Obesity

The following procedures are used to treat Obesity:
  • Bariatric surgery: To reduce excess fat and body weight

Self-care for Obesity

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Obesity:
  • Setting realistic goals: To lose a significant amount of weight
  • Sticking to treatment plan: To bring body weight to normal
  • Avoid food triggers: To maintain body weight
  • Regular exercise: To achieve and maintain a healthy weight

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Obesity

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Obesity:
  • Intake dietary supplements: Helps to shed weight quickly
  • Acupuncture: Helps reducing weight
  • Do meditation: Helps in weight loss
  • Practice yoga: Helps in losing weight

Patient Support for Treatment of Obesity

The following actions may help Obesity patients:
  • Support groups: Join support groups where others share similar challenges with obesity
  • Counseling: Helps understanding why patients overeat and learning healthy ways to cope with anxiety

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Obesity.
Body Weight
Obesity in Children
Weight Control
Weight Loss Surgery

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