Obesity and Its Health Risks

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Obesity refers to a person with an excessive amount of fat in the body. For adults, a BMI or Body Mass Index of 30 to 39.9 is considered obese. If you have a BMI of 29.9, you are overweight. A BMI of 40 and above means you are morbidly obese.

Although calculating your BMI isn’t the most accurate way to diagnose obesity, it’s an effective indicator if you’re overweight. A better way to determine if you are overweight or obese is to measure your waist circumference.

In men, a waist circumference of 94 centimeters (80 centimeters waist circumference in women) strongly indicates the likelihood of developing obesity-related diseases.

Types of Obesity

On the outside, obesity looks similar but there are different causes for the condition:

Type 1 and Type 2 Obesity

Type 1 Obesity: the most common type of obesity, obesity caused by excessive eating and lack of exercise.

Type 2 Obesity: Caused by an underlying condition. 1% of people who are obese abnormally gain weight even when they watch what they eat. This condition may be caused by hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovarian disease, Cushing syndrome, and insulinoma.

Child- and Adult-Type Obesity

To diagnose child- or adult-type obesity, you will have to go through complete health examination. These examinations will determine the difference in the number and size of your fat cells.

In adult-type obesity, only the size of the fat cells increase. In child-type obesity, the number of fat cells increase.

Limb and Abdominal Obesity

Obesity can develop in various parts of the body. In some cases, patients develop excessive fat around the abdominal area. In other cases, fat develops on the limbs and buttocks. Abdominal obesity is common in men while limb obesity is common in women.

Health Risks of Obesity

It’s one thing to be concerned about your weight for aesthetic reasons and it’s another for health reasons. Obesity is one of the deadliest known disorders in the world with millions of deaths across the world linked to obesity complications. Treating this condition is not only difficult, the possibility of a relapse is extremely high.

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when the body can no longer produce enough insulin or when the body can no longer use insulin properly. In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot use insulin properly. At first, the body reacts by release too much insulin but over time, stops producing enough insulin to regulate blood sugar.

Heart Problems

Too much fat in the body could cause nerves to narrow down due to fat plaques, constricting blood circulation. This causes a domino effect that may lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and other heart diseases.


Research shows that too much fat in the body could trigger the healthy cells to mutate to benign or cancer cells. Clinical tests show that being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing colon, gallbladder, breast, or endometrial cancers.

Joint Disorders

It’s no coincidence that obese patients tend to suffer from various joint problems. Too much weight puts unnecessary stress on ligaments and joints. This causes the joints to bear four to five times of your weight with every step! The excess weight also wears down the ligaments, causing thinning and weakness. All these will inevitably lead to worn out joints resulting in arthritic pain.

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