Overview of Obesity
Obesity is a chronic disease that can affect an individual’s health in many different ways. This disease has recently reached epidemic proportions within the U.S. and is one of the leading preventable causes of death for Americans.
What Determines a Diagnosis of Obesity?
Obesity is similar to being categorized as overweight, but these two terms represent different points along the same scale. These different conditions depend primarily upon the patient’s body mass index (BMI), which represents the percentage of a person’s body that is made up of fat.
An ideal BMI for an average adult is 20 – 24.9. An individual is considered overweight if their BMI is between 25 and 29.9, and once the individual reaches a BMI of 30 or higher, they are determined to be obese.
Factors Affecting Obesity
There is no single cause of obesity because it is unclear as to how the body regulates weight and body fat. However, it is generally known that an individual who has a higher intake of calories than they are able to burn off through regular activities will begin to gain weight.
While obesity is mainly an issue of ongoing lifestyle choices, there are certain factors that will increase an individual’s risk of becoming obese, such as:
- Medication side effects
- Differences in metabolism or hormones
- Socioeconomic status
- Emotional eating
Health Conditions Influenced by Obesity
Obesity can cause the onset of many other health conditions. The most common effects of obesity include:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Osteoarthritis or other joint pain
- Sleep apnea and respiratory complications
- Metabolic syndrome
- Social anxiety and other psychological difficulties
Schedule a Consultation
To speak with a weight management specialist about your concerns regarding your risk factors for obesity and conditions related to this disease, please give Dignity Health Medical Groups a call today to schedule an appointment.