Obesity: Causes, Types, and Prevention

Obesity can be defined as having excessive body mass. Obesity in adults is usually defined as having a BMI greater than 30. A BMI of 40 or more is considered severe obesity (formerly called “morbid” obesity). Children’s obesity is measured using growth charts.

What is obesity?

Obesity can be a chronic, complex disease that has several causes. It leads to excess body fat and, in some cases, poor health. Of course, body fat is not a condition. When your body is overloaded with fat, the way it works can be affected. These changes can be progressive and worsen with time. They can also have adverse health effects.

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You can reduce your health risks simply by losing excess body fat. Even small weight changes can have a significant impact on your overall health. Weight-loss methods do not work for everyone. Many people have attempted to lose weight multiple times. It is equally important to keep the weight off as it is to lose it.

Does your weight define obesity?

Health care providers use the body mass index to determine obesity in the general public. The BMI is a measure of average weight versus average height. Healthcare providers generally associate a BMI greater than 30 with obesity. BMI is a simple indicator that can alert you to the health risks associated with obesity.

Bodybuilders and athletes are examples of people who may be limited. They have more muscle mass and a higher BMI score, even though they have low levels of fat. You can also be obese at a weight that is considered “normal”. You may be at the same risk of health problems as someone with a high BMI if your weight is normal but your body fat is high.

Healthcare providers have observed that there are ethnic differences when it comes to how much weight an individual can carry without it affecting their health. People of Asian descent, for example, are more at risk with a lower body mass index, while black people are at greater risk with a higher one.

A measurement of waist circumference is another way to assess obesity. You are statistically at greater risk for obesity-related illnesses if you have more fat around your midsection. Risk increases when waist measurement is greater than 35 inches or 40 inches in the case of people born male.

What are the three types of obesity?

The severity of obesity is used to classify it. BMI is used to classify obesity. They classify you as overweight if your BMI falls between 25.0 kg/m2 and 29.9 kg/m2. Healthcare providers evaluate the best treatment for each patient based on three types of obesity. These include:

  • Class 1 obesity: BMI 30–35 kg/m2.
  • Class II Obesity: BMI 35–40 kg/m2.
  • Class III obesity: BMI 40+ kg/m2.

What is “morbid obesity”?

“Morbid obesity” is a term that has become outdated for class III obesity. In medical terms, “morbidity”, or associated health risks, is used. Doctors called class III obesity “morbid”, because it is most likely to be associated with health issues. They retired the term due to its negative connotations.

How do you measure childhood obesity?

The BMI is also used by healthcare providers to calculate childhood obesity. However, they do so based on the child’s assigned gender and age. If a child’s BMI is higher than 95% of peers in their age category, they may be diagnosed as obese. The BMI of different growth charts can vary slightly depending on the population that they are sampling.

How common is obesity in the United States?

The last survey of obesity among American adults took place in 2017–2018. In 1999-2000, the prevalence of obesity was 30.5%. It is now 42.5%. In the same period, class III obesity nearly doubled in prevalence from 4,7% to 9,2%. In America, the prevalence of childhood obesity from 2017 to 2018 was 19%.

Over the past 50 years, obesity worldwide has almost tripled. In lower-income countries, where malnutrition occurs frequently, the rise in obesity has been particularly dramatic. Now, these communities have more access to high-calorie foods that are low in nutritional value. In these countries, obesity and undernutrition often coexist.

What is the impact of obesity on my body?

The effects of obesity on your body are many. Some of the effects are mechanical. You can, for example, draw a line between excess weight and increased pressure on the skeleton and your joints. Some effects are subtler, like chemical changes in the blood that increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Some effects are not fully understood. Obesity, for example, increases the risk of certain cancers. It’s not clear why it occurs, but we do know that it does. Statistics show that obesity increases the risk of dying prematurely from any cause. Studies show that even small weight losses (5–10%) can reduce these risks.

Metabolic changes

Metabolism refers to the conversion of calories into energy that fuels your body’s functions. If your body is unable to use all the calories it has, it will convert them into lipids. These lipids are then stored in your fat tissue. Fat cells become larger when you run out of tissue in which to store lipids. The enlarged fat cells release hormones as well as other chemicals that cause inflammation.

Chronic inflammation can have many negative health effects. Insulin resistance is one way it can affect your metabolism. It means that your body is unable to use insulin effectively in order to lower your blood glucose or your blood lipid levels. High blood sugar,  blood lipids, cholesterol, and triglycerides also contribute to high blood pressure.

Together, the combined risk factors of metabolic disorders are called These risk factors are grouped together because they tend to reinforce one another. These factors also encourage weight gain, making it more difficult to lose weight or maintain weight loss. Metabolic syndrome is one of the most common factors in obesity. It also contributes to a number of diseases related to obesity, such as:

  • Type 1 diabetes Obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes seven times in males and 12 times in females. Risk increases by 20% with every point on the BMI scale. The risk also decreases as you lose weight.
  • Cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are risk factors for heart disease, which includes coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and heart attacks. and stroke. These risks are directly related to your BMI. In the U.S. and worldwide, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of preventable deaths.
  • Fatty Liver Disease. The liver filters your blood by removing excess fats from it. If your liver starts to store excess fat, this can cause chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis) and long-term damage (cirrhosis).
  • Kidney Disease. Chronic kidney disease is often caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, and liver diseases.
  • Gallstones. Gallstones can be caused by high cholesterol levels in the blood.

Direct effects

This can cause your respiratory and musculoskeletal systems to be stressed and strained. This can lead to:

  • Asthma.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Back Pain.
  • Gout.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 obese adults also have arthritis. According to studies, the risk of developing knee arthritis increases by 36% for every additional 5 kilograms. Weight loss of 10%, combined with regular exercise, can reduce arthritis pain and improve quality of life.

Indirect effects

Obesity can also be associated with:

  • Memory as well as cognition This includes a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
  • Infertility in women and pregnancy problems
  • depression, and mood disorders.
  • Cancers such as esophageal cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian, uterine, and pancreatic.