What is being Overweight or Obese ?
Overweight and Obesity are defined as having an excess amount of body fat. Being overweight or obese seriously increases the risk of diseases and health problems like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
The most widely used standard for measuring overweight and obesity is known as body mass index or (BMI).
BMI Weight status
- Below 18.5 - Underweight
- 18.5 to 24.9 - Normal
- 25.0 to 29.9 - Overweight
- 30.0 and higher - Obese
- 40.0 and higher - Extreme obesity
Signs and Symptoms
The primary symptom of being overweight or obese is having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher. Body mass index is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in meters (m) squared.
Interestingly, because BMI doesn't directly measure body fat, some people may have a BMI in the obese category even though they don't have excess body fat.
Causes of Obesity
When you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities, your body stores excess calories as fat.
Being overweight or obese is caused by:
- Unhealthy diet and eating habits
- Lack of sleep
- Medications. Some medications, including some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers, can cause you to gain weight.
- Medical problems. Obesity can sometimes be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing's syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other diseases and conditions.
- Learn about your condition
- Enlist support
- Set realistic goals
- Identify and avoid food triggers
- Keep a food and activity journal
Herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals can cause problems when taken in excessive amounts. Ingredients may not be standard, and they can cause unpredictable and harmful side effects.
It's thought that acupuncture and hypnosis may complement other overweight or obesity options or treatments.
To cope with obesity and weight-loss efforts, try these:
- Write in a journal to express your emotions
- Connect with family or friends periodically
- Join a support group so that you can connect with others facing similar challenges
- Stay focused on your goals
- Learn relaxation and stress management
- Daily exercise, a healthy diet and a long-term commitment to watch what you eat and drink help prevent obesity
- Focus on low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid saturated fat and limit sweets and alcohol
- Identify situations that trigger out-of-control eating
- Monitor your weight
- Be consistent
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