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Obesity - Know Harms And Causes Of It!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ramen Goel 89% (50 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Bariatrician, Mumbai  •  34 years experience
Obesity - Know Harms And Causes Of It!

Obesity is a serious problem wherein a person gains excessive weight, thus restricting his or her movement, ultimately leading to various kinds of health problems. 

How to know if I am obese?

Obesity is basically a condition where there is an excess proportion of the total body fat. Generally, a person is considered obese by looking at two factors:

  1. Body Mass Index - In a Caucasian, BMI of 30 or more indicates obesity while in an Indian, BMI of 25 qualifies him as obese.
  2. Circumference of the waist - If a person’s shape is that of an apple or has a potbelly, then that person carries more fat about the abdomen. This tends to increase the risk of developing the problem of obesity.

Can obesity or being overweight cause medical problems?

Yes, if you are overweight or obese, it can lead to a range of health problems, which include:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Heart disease
  3. Stroke
  4. Diabetes
  5. Osteoarthritis
  6. Gout

In case a person is 40% overweight, he or she is 2 times more likely to die a premature death.

What are the risk factors to be considered with regard to obesity?

The risk factors which one must not ignore if one has the tendency of becoming overweight are:

  1. Pre-existing medical conditions – High blood pressure, high level of cholesterol or high sugar level are major warning signs of diseases associated with obesity.
  2. The family history of suffering from chronic diseases – If a person’s parents or close relatives are suffering from heart disease or diabetes, then there is every chance for the person as well falling prey to these problems.

What leads to obesity?

 There are certain factors which play crucial role towards making a person obese:

  1. Environmental Factors - If a person is less active and mainly spends time sitting in a place, without any kind of physical activity, a person is bound to gain weight. Consumption of fatty, oily foods and sweets worsen the condition.
  2. Psychological Factors - Around 30% of people, who seek treatment for serious problems regarding weight have problems with binge eating. Binge eating involves, having a large amount of food with the feeling as if they are unable to control themselves. There are people who eat a lot in response to negative emotions like boredom, anger or sadness.
  3. Genetic Factors - Obesity is a problem that usually runs in families. Family members not only share genes but also their diet and lifestyle habits.

How can you treat this problem of obesity?

The treatment of obesity through losing excess weight is a long-term proposition. It does not happen overnight. Weight loss must be gradual as attempts to drastically lose weight might backfire and cause other health problems. Bariatric surgery is one of the best ways other than maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle with physical activity to control obesity. Consult your doctor today. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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