Obesity is a chronic disease characterized by an excess of body fat, a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30, or a weight that exceeds 20% of the ideal body weight.
Causes of Obesity
Obesity is generally caused by a combination of lifestyle habits, such as an unbalanced diet and a lack of physical activity. Other factors include:
- Genetics & Family History
- Sleep deprivation
- Psychological factors, such as stress and low self-esteem
- Environmental factors, such as a lack of access to healthy foods or safe places to exercise
Risk Factors for Obesity
The following are some risk factors for obesity:
- Having a sedentary lifestyle
- Having an unhealthy diet
- Having a family history of obesity
- Certain medical conditions include hypothyroidism or polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Taking certain medications, such as steroids or birth control pills
- Having access to unhealthy food or lack of access to healthy food
Complications of Obesity
Being obese puts a person at greater risk for several other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. It is also associated with depression and an increased risk of death.
Treatment of Obesity
In order to treat obesity, it is important to make changes in lifestyle and diet. This may include eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, limiting the amount of time spent watching television or using other electronic devices, and exercising regularly. In some cases, medications and/or surgery may also be recommended.