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Obesity - Understanding its symptoms and causes

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Define obesity
Obesity is medically defined as a chronic condition where a person suffers from excess bodyweight and fat – usually 20% more than your desirable weight, which depends on your sex, height and age.

Obesity is most accurately measured through the Body Mass Index (BMI) which is a ratio of person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by height in square metres.

  • People with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight
  • While adults with a BMI above 30 are considered obese
  • People with a BMI above 40 are considered morbidly obese

Perceived as a symbol of rising wealth and affluence, the problem of obesity is growing rapidly in the developed nations. Obesity may cause life-threatening conditions such as heart diseases, cancers of certain types, type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties during sleep and even osteoarthritis. In fact obesity is rated as one of the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide.

Symptoms of obesity

There are several symptoms through which we can diagnose obesity in a person.

A person who has become obese will notice changes in their daily health. Such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Back and joint pains
  • Breathlessness,
  • Excessive sweating
  • Snoring
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Inability to cope with sudden physical activity

An obese person is also likely to develop one or several of the following medical conditions -

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Arthritis of the back, hips, knees and ankles
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Decreased fertility, and pregnancy complications
  • Gallstones
  • Skin diseases

In addition, an obese person is also likely to develop psychological symptoms such as low self-esteem and low confidence.

Causes of obesity
Obesity is a result of an imbalance between energy input and output, that is to say obesity occurs when the body consumes more calories than it burns. Obesity does not happen at once, rather it develops gradually from improper diet and lifestyle choices. However, there can be few other causes of obesity such as disease and genetics. Here we have discussed some of causes that majorly contribute towards obesity in a person.

  • Sedentary lifestyle – People today are leading more sedentary lifestyle as there is a shift towards less physically demanding work because of which their physical activity has drastically reduced. Processes that demand labour have become automated and people spend more time in front of television and computer screen. Involving very little physical activity is causing many people to put on weight.
  • Increased food consumption – People today are more inclined towards the consumption of high calorie junk food and easier to prepare processed food. These are rich in fat and sugar content and do not provide the required nutrition to the body.
  • Genetic factors – Genes are also said to be a contributing factor for obesity. Although children usually share the same lifestyle and dietary habits of their parents, not just the same metabolism.
  • Diseases and medication – Certain diseases such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, and polycystic ovary syndrome may also contribute to obesity. Obesity may also result from certain medications like antidepressants, diabetes medications, certain hormones such as oral contraceptives and most corticosteroids.


By Ajay Dumasiya BCA, SEO (Last 2.4 years)
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.

Author: BCA, SEO (Last 2.4 years)

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