Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health. People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height, is over 30 kg/m2, with the range 25–30 kg/m2 defined as overweight. Some East Asian countries use lower values. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. A few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications, or mental illness. Evidence to support the view that obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is not generally supported. On average, obese people have a greater energy expenditure than their thin counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.
Excessive body weight is associated with various diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis and asthma. As a result, obesity has been found to reduce life expectancy.y
Relative risk of death over 10 years for white men (left) and women (right) who have never smoked in the United States by BMI
Obesity increases the risk of many physical and mental conditions. These comorbidities are most commonly shown in metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders which includes: diabetes mellitus type 2, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels.Complications are either directly caused by obesity or indirectly related through mechanisms sharing a common cause such as a poor diet or a sedentary lifestyle. The strength of the link between obesity and specific conditions varies. One of the strongest is the link with type 2 diabetes. Excess body fat underlies 64% of cases of diabetes in men and 77% of cases in women.
Health consequences fall into two broad categories: those attributable to the effects of increased fat mass (such as osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, social stigmatization) and those due to the increased number of fat cells (diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) Increases in body fat alter the body’s response to insulin, potentially leading to insulin resistance. Increased fat also creates a proinflammatory state, and a prothrombotic state.
Health risks in Obesity:
- coronary heart disease: angina and myocardial infarction
- congestive heart failure
- high blood pressure
- abnormal cholesterol levels
- deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
- diabetes mellitus
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
- menstrual disorders
- complications during pregnancy
- birth defects
- meralgia paresthetica
- idiopathic intracranial hypertension
- multiple sclerosis
- poor mobility
- low back pain