Overweight and Obesity Causes | Weight Loss Treatments

Overweight and Obesity

Obesity and overweight are global health concerns affecting millions of individuals worldwide. These conditions, characterized by the abnormal or excessive accumulation of body fat, can seriously affect one’s health and well-being.

What are Obesity and Overweight?

Obesity and overweight are commonly defined using the Body Mass Index (BMI), a straightforward weight-for-height measure. 

Adults with a BMI of 25 or above are considered overweight, while those with a BMI of 30 or more are termed obese. BMI is a helpful population-level indicator for these illnesses. Still, it’s crucial to remember that people may interpret it differently depending on their body type and other characteristics like muscle mass.

In children, age is a crucial factor in determining overweight and obesity. For those under five years of age, it is based on weight-for-height standards, with overweight being defined as a weight greater than two standard deviations above the WHO Child Growth Standards median and obesity as a weight greater than three standard deviations above this median. 

For children aged 5-19, overweight is defined as BMI-for-age greater than one standard deviation above the WHO Growth Reference median, while obesity is greater than two standard deviations above this median.

overweight and obesity

What Causes Obesity and Overweight?

The primary cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance, where the number of calories consumed exceeds the calories expended. Globally, these conditions have been on the rise due to several interconnected factors:

Dietary Habits: The consumption of energy-dense foods high in fats and sugars has increased significantly. Fast food, sugary beverages, and processed snacks have become staples in many diets, contributing to excessive calorie intake.

Physical Inactivity: Our modern lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary. Changes in work patterns, reliance on technology, and less active modes of transportation have reduced physical activity levels, which in turn can contribute to weight gain.

Urbanization: Rapid urbanization has altered living environments, making it less conducive to physical activity. Urban planning that prioritizes cars over pedestrians and lacks green spaces can hinder opportunities for exercise.

Lack of Supportive Policies: The absence of supportive policies in sectors like health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, environment, food processing, distribution, marketing, and education has contributed to the obesity epidemic. For example, limited access to affordable, healthy food options can make it challenging for individuals to make nutritious choices.

Overweight and Obesity Medication Uses, Side Effects and More:

Please Note: The above information is for knowledge purposes only. Please consult your healthcare provider for personalized medical advice.