What is Obesity?

Obesity is having higher body fat in comparison to muscle, bone, and water weight. BMI (body mass index) can be measured by your height and weight.

Millions of Americans and people worldwide are overweight or obese. The terms “overweight” and “obese” refer to a person’s overall body weight. To be overweight is to have extra body weight from muscle, bone, fat, and/or water. To be obese is to have a higher amount of extra body fat in comparison to muscle, bone, and water weights. The amount of body fat a person carries is difficult to measure with total accuracy. The easiest and most useful measure of body fat is body mass index (BMI). BMI is based on height and weight and is used for adults, children, and teens.

Your weight is the result of many factors. These factors include environment, genetics, metabolism and behavior. Being obese puts you at risk for many diseases and conditions. The more body fat you have—and the more you weigh—the more likely you are to develop:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease)
  • High blood pressure
  • Gallstones
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Joint Pain
  • Certain cancers

You can take steps to prevent or treat obesity. Follow a healthy eating plan and keep your calorie needs in mind. Participate in physical activity regularly and try to limit the amount of time that you are inactive. If these changes do not make a significant difference for those seeking weight loss, medication and surgery are possible options to pursue.

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