Obesity

Obesity child

Last Updated February 21st, 2019

Overview of obesity

Obesity is a primary global concern at present, affecting children, teens, and adults equally. It not only increases the body weight but also leads to a wide range of clinical complications. World Health Organization has estimated that post-1980, the global obesity rate has doubled. According to recent epidemiological studies by WHO, more than 1.9 billion adults all over the world were found overweight in 2014. Among them, about 600 million were obese. The total cost of treatment and hospitalization due to obesity and associated diseases in the United States was $99.2 million in 1995.

 

What is obesity?

Obesity manIn general terms, obesity can be defined as the increase in body weight due to the presence of excess fat. But health organizations have indicated a marked difference between obesity and overweight. Overweight may be caused due to the overall weight of body muscles, bones, fat and water. Obesity is caused exclusively due to the presence of excess fat in the body. Body Mass Index (BMI) plays an important role in determining whether a person is overweight or obese. A BMI of 25-29 kg/m2 is attributed to overweight. A BMI of 30 kg/m2 or above refers to obesity. Both overweight and obesity result from excess unused energy within the body that is stored as body fat.

 

What is the reason behind obesity?

There are numerous environmental and physiological factors that contribute to obesity in an individual. Dietary habits and the extent of physical activities performed by a person also determine his possibility of becoming obese. The generalized factors of obesity are as follows-

  • Excess calorie intake: Frequent and excess intake of food containing high calorie, saturated fats and animal protein result in excess fat within the body. Also, few people suffer from Binge Eating Disorder which is characterized by excess intake of food (of any kind) within very short intervals of time.
  • Limited physical activities: Complete lack of physical exercise (along with heavy eating) and extreme lethargy can be a primary cause of obesity. In this case, the fat acquired from the food does not get a chance to burn completely and gets deposited within the body.
  • Heredity: Studies by Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that BMI is influenced to a great extent by genetic factors and contribute to fat deposition within a person’s body. Two obese parents are 75% likely to have an obese child and only one obese parent has a possibility of 25-50%.
  • Hormones: A variation in hormone level within the body occurs during puberty, pregnancy or after menopause which can lead to disturbed fat metabolism and resultant fat deposition within the body. Impaired functioning of the thyroid gland (due to disturbed endocrine activities) causes Hypothyroidism which can lead to obesity.
  • Medications: Some medications such as glucocorticoids can cause abnormal fat gain (truncal adiposity in most cases). Few other drugs like Insulin and oral hypoglycemics cause obesity due to excess gain of adipose tissues within the body.
  • Emotional Stress: Emotional stress and depression can trigger weight gain in 10-20% cases. Inhabitants of northern latitudes suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) particularly during Winter, which leads to severe depression and ultimate fat deposition.
  • Chronic diseases: Existing diseases within the body such as Cushing’s Syndrome, Hypothalamic diseases, and Hypogonadism can cause abnormal endocrine activities or erroneous fat metabolism which might lead to obesity.
  • Ethnicity: Different ethnic groups follow different diet patterns which determine the amount of fat metabolism and fat deposition within the body.

 

What are the warning signs?

Obesity childThe obese condition can be easily identified by observing the inevitable signs and symptoms of an increase in body weight and fat deposition. The following signs must be carefully observed-

  • Abnormal deposition of fat in different parts of the body, especially in the waist and abdominal portions
  • High BMI
  • Increased waist circumference (above 40 inches in males and above 35 inches in females)
  • Inability to fit into clothes and tight feeling (around the chest) when they are worn
  • Heavy sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue and decrease in work-level productivity
  • Inability to perform physical activities for long
  • Snoring tendencies
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Joint pains
  • Feeling of social awkwardness due to distorted bodyline
  • Irritability and mental depression

 

What are the different types of obesity?

Obesity may be roughly classified into six different categories based on age, mental health, economic conditions, and gender. These are as follows-

  • Young healthy females: This category is obese but does not have obesity associated clinical complications.
  • Heavy drinking males: They can grow alcoholic obesity and clinical complications (cardiovascular disorders)
  • Anxious middle-aged: It refers to women with disturbed mental conditions.
  • Affluent and healthy elderly: Usually they have high alcohol intake and high blood pressure.
  • Physically sick elderly: Aged people with chronic diseases like osteoarthritis.
  • Poor health: It includes people having several chronic diseases.

 

Can there be additional systemic complications?

An obese condition can lead to several clinical complications like –

  • Cardiovascular disorders ( atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy)
  • Hypertension and stroke
  • Chronic diseases like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Diabetes (Type 2)

 

What laboratory tests do the doctors recommend?

Proper clinical diagnosis of obesity can be carried out via accurate measurement of BMI and blood pressure.

 

Treatment and prevention

Obesity dietThe treatment of obesity varies from person to person because there are a lot of varying factors that could contribute to a higher BMI. Try to follow a regulated and consistent weight loss plan and don’t rush to lose weight fast. Slow and consistent weight loss results are more effective and long-lasting than quick-fix weight loss programs.  For extremely obese people, bariatric surgery might be a good option. It is important to find the exact cause of obesity – diet, lifestyle, genetic, or endocrine/metabolic disorders. Treating the underlying conditions and practicing healthy dietary practices can help regulate weight in many obese individuals.

The following preventive measures must be adopted to keep obesity at a bay:

  • Bring considerable improvements to your eating habits. Eat healthier versions of food instead of opting for processed/ instant versions.
  • Refrain from eating while watching TV. In fact, decrease the amount of time you spend sitting and live a more physically active life.
  • Make healthy substitutions such as switching over to whole grain instead of refined grains. Eat nutritionally dense foods which have a lower GI (glycemic index).
  • If one suffers from an eating disorder, he/she should consult a psychiatrist to treat the condition and improve eating habits.

TL;DR?

Obesity infographic

 

Facts

  • The global obesity rates have tripled in the past 4 decades. 1 out of every 3 Americans falls under the obese category.
  • Studies suggest that 70% of body weight variations have a genetic link.

Facts

  • Globally, more than 10% of the population can be categorized as obese.
  • CDC or Centre for Disease Control defines obesity as the state where an individual has BMI greater than equal to 30.

Facts

  • The annual medical cost associated with obesity and its related illnesses was roughly $ 147 billion in the year 2008.
  • According to a 2016 survey, there are more than 650 million obese people and 1.9 billion overweight individuals worldwide.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

Display this infographic on your website

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Eliminate all forms of sugar from the diet. This includes giving up processed food, fast food, and sodas.
  • Add a healthy amount of physical activities in your daily routine.
  • Take out time to de-stress yourself.
  • Eat more home-cooked foods.
  • Try to find if there are any underlying bodily conditions could be responsible for your higher BMI.

Don'ts
  • Resort to crash diets or skipping meals to lose weight. These habits make your body store more fats as the brain interprets this as a state of starvation.
  • Overeat just because you are eating only healthy foods. Don’t eat too close to bed time.
  • Keep longer intervals between each meal. Eat 5-6 smaller meals.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin. Find easy and…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each spoonful you are…
diabetes symptoms in women
FBS Test – Fasting Blood Sugar FBS or fasting blood sugar test is a blood test that is used to determine the level of…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk of cancer, and…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
magnesium test
Magnesium Test The magnesium test is a blood test that is generally prsecribed when an individual starts showing signs of…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
ketoacidosis diabetes
HB1Ac Test HB1Ac test is an important blood test that is used to measure the levels of glycated hemoglobin in…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo cereal from Peru,…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
Green, brown, & bitter: The instant advantages of including fenugreek in your diet Did you know the earliest usage of fenugreek can be traced back to the Egyptian civilization? Find out…
Coconut oil woman
Coconut Oil: How one oil dominates the kitchen and the medicine kit too Coconut oil has been a favorite in many Asian kitchens. But more than a cooking oil, coconut oil…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
cold flu sinus treatment
How to beat the common cold, flu, and sinus infection instantly? Can you guess some of the easiest tricks to treat cold and sinus infections? How are these different…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
Dates: The complete list of instant health benefits this dry fruit can bestow Why you should regularly go for dates? Because, these small bulbs of healthy goodness are brimming with essential…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding on the plant…
Eustachian Tube : Functions and top home remedies to prevent its infection Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the three important functions…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less painful and ooze…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
almonds healthy
9 reasons why almonds should be consumed daily Almonds are filled with nutrients and energy and are used since ancient times.  The bitter almonds are chosen…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
Top Natural Repellents for Mosquitoes with negligible side-effects What are the best ways to keep mosquitos away from you? Try these natural and 100% safe products…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various types of poops…
Helicobacter pylori IGA
Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA antigen in the…
folate test
Folate test The Folate test is used to measure and monitor the levels of folic acid in the blood. The…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgG
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgG Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 antibody test involves detecting and measuring the presence of the IgG class of beta…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
lose pregnancy weight
5 most effective ways you can lose those pregnancy pounds! Are you looking for ways to get back into shape? Scared of crash diets? Don't let your post-pregnancy…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
Dunning kruger effect
Medical Mythbusters : How many of these myths did you think were true? Do vaccines cause autism? Does sugar really make kids hyperactive? Don't fall prey to these common health misconceptions!
essential amino acids
Amino acids: Building blocks of life for better mood and sex drive! Find out why amino acids are often called as the building blocks of life. And why should you…
CBD oil safe
Cannabidiol benefits: Evaluating the “highs” of CBD Oil The word cannabis paints a picture of addicts. But did you know that CBD oil, extracted from the…
calories healthy
Calories: How to keep a check on these for faster weight loss Did you know you can burn calories while sleeping? Calorie-burning is what causes weight loss. How much should…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
Valerian Root: The best way to achieve tranquil sleep every night Valerian root is probably one of the oldest and safest way to cure your insomnia. Find out how…
Top 15 fat burning foods you need to start eating from today! Tired of going to gym everyday but seeing no change in your weight? Try these top fat burning…
Sharpen your brain with these top brain-friendly foods! Did you know your diet could decide how razor sharp your memory is? Or that what you eat…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
What to eat, what not to eat in the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet is one among the most popular weight loss programs that have been the talk…
Latest findings on Kombucha; a teacup full of yeast and bacteria How can a tea consisting of a live culture of bacteria & fungi be healthy? With Kombucha, you…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
Sore Throat: How to treat this throat infection at home? Do frequent cold and cough hamper your daily life? Are these followed by a pain in the throat?…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of hepatic enzymes which…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome linked…
rubella IgG test
Rubella IgG Test The rubella IgG test is a blood test that checks for the rubella virus IgG antibodies present in…
HPV diegene hybrid dna detection
HPV Digene Hybrid DNA Detection test An HPV DNA test is a test used to detect 13 high-risk types of human papillomavirus infections. HPV…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
Serotonin happiness
Serotonin: What you didn’t know about this “feel-good” chemical Serotonin : Did you know that this "feel-good" hormone could well impact your sleep cycle, sex drive, appetite,…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
waking up tired
10 reasons why you might be waking up tired Do you feel you are not getting enough sleep? Sleep-deprived and frustrated? Read on discover the real reasons…