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What is Obesity? – Types, Causes, and More

What is Obesity?

Obesity is an abnormal or excessive growth of fat that can be harmful to health. Obesity is a chronic disease, of multifactorial origin, of high prevalence, associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, a decrease in the quality of life, and an increase in mortality.

Types of Obesity

The international classification of Obesity in adults proposed by the WHO and based on the Body Mass Index (BMI). People who have a BMI equal to or greater than 30 kg / m2 (the same for both sexes) are obese.

BMI can measure Obesity. It calculates by dividing the weight (kg) by the square of the height in meters. For instance, if a man or woman weighs 120 kilos and is 1.65 meters tall, their BMI is 44. BMI has shown a good association between body fat and health risk at the population level.

And according to the sharing of fatty tissue, Obesity also classify

Abdominal, Visceral Obesity

It is also called the android type with a predominance of adiposity in the upper half of the body: neck, shoulders, and abdomen. therefore, this type of fatness is associated with an increased risk of metabolic diseases.

Femoral Gluteal or Gynoid Obesity

So,With a prevalence of adiposity in the buttocks, hips, thighs, and the lower half of the body, waist circumference measurement uses a reference indicator in Europe due to the relationship between the fat distribution. In the case of men, it should not exceed 102 centimeters, and in women, 88 centimeters.

Causes of Obesity

The causes of Obesity are manifold and multifaceted. However, it generally accepts that the cause of Obesity is an energy imbalance between the calories consumed and the calories expended through exercise and daily life activities, so the body stores excess calories in the form of fat.

Symptoms of Obesity

The most apparent symptom is weight gain, so the symptoms will depend on this weight gain, which, among others, can be:

1. Difficulty sleeping. Obesity is related to sleep apnea, which is the cause of daytime sleepiness and poor restful sleep.

2. Back or joint pain

3. Excessive sweating

4. Heat intolerance

5. Infections in the skin folds.

6. Fatigue.

7. Depression and

8. Feeling short of breath (dyspnea)

Signs of Obesity

  1. The skin thickens and darkens in some parts of the body (acanthosis nigricans).

2. The appearance of stretch marks.

3. Its edema and varicose veins in the lower extremes.

4. Body Mass Index greater than 30 kg / m2 and

5. The waist perimeter is more significant than 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women.

Diagnosis of Obesity

The diagnosis of Obesity basis on the physical examination and medical history of the patient; Therefore, it is essential to calculate the BMI to confirm that it is greater than 30 kg / m2 to determine the severity of Obesity.

In addition, this information allows you to set treatment goals and find out what health problems or risk factors exist.

Clinical history:

It is of particular relevance to obtain information on the history of body weight, age of onset, weight fluctuations, previous treatments, intake patterns, conditioning factors of weight gain medications that may influence weight variation, degree of physical activity, as well as family history to assess disposition to confident viruses such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

But,the record also helps identify other metabolic disorders associated with Obesity and determine the degree of control of known health problems. Finally, the history of smoking and alcohol ingesting should also evaluate.

Physical examination:

It is essential to record weight and height to calculate BMI, measure waist circumference and blood pressure levels. The bodily review also helps to rule out other conditions, such as the presence of vinous striae or lower extremity edema.

Blood tests and imaging tests:

They depend on the patient’s symptoms at that time and the risk factors for the development of other diseases.Though the analysis consists of assessing the fasting levels of glucose, cholesterol, liver, kidney, and thyroid function, among others. In addition, an electrocardiogram and liver ultrasound recommend to rule out hepatic steatosis.


In short,Obesity is a highly prevalent continuing disease and most of the countries of the world. It characterizes by a higher body fat content, which, depending on its magnitude and topographic location, will determine health risks that limit expectations and quality of life.

Morever,obesity classifies according to the Body Mass Index due to the excellent correlation that this indicator presents with body fat and health risk at the population level.

Furthermore, the strong connotation between abdominal Obesity and cardiac disease has allowed the clinical acceptance of indirect indicators of abdominal fat, such as waist circumference measurements.

Also Read:Starch – Definition, Benefits, Functions, and More

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