Obesity is a condition where an individual is considered very over weight, with a high amount of body fat.  The most commonly used tool in diagnosis is the Body Mass Index (BMI) which is calculated based on weight and height. 

A BMI of 30 to 39.9 would indicate that an individual is obese, with anything higher falling into the category of severely obese. 

However it is important to note that this method has its downsides such as failing to account for muscle and bone density.

Obesity can develop based of a variety of issues, quite commonly involving the consumption of more energy from food than can be expended, thereby resulting in the excess energy being stored as fat.  Causes of obesity however are not contained to this, with many conditions such as hypothyroidism and genetics contributing to cases as well.

Obesity can have a number of effects on an individual’s health including but not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Liver/kidney disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Reduced fertility

Striving to maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle is considered the best way to tackle this condition. However obesity can also have psychological factors involved that can cause challenges in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and can be associated with struggles such as Binge Eating Disorder. Although as with anything moderation is key, and it can sometimes be easy to end up going too far in the other direction, and therefore it is important to recognise the health risks involved with an extreme focus of diet and exercise. 

See Anorexia and Compulsive Exercise

What signs to look out for

  • Shortness of breath
  • Aching knees
  • Hypertension/high blood pressure
  • Backache
  • Skin Problems
  • Heartburn
  • Varicose Veins

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