This booklet provides basic information about obesity. What is it? How is it measured? What causes it? What are the health risks? What can you do about it?


“Obesity” specifically refers to an excessive amount of body fat. “Overweight” refers to an excessive amount of body weight that includes muscle, bone, fat, and water.

Measurement of Obesity

Body Mass Index :

The BMI is a tool used to assess overweight and obesity and monitor changes in body weight. It is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in pounds by height in inches squared.

Weight Category BMI Score Underweight Below 18.5 Healthy weight 18.5 to 24.9 Overweight 25 go 29.9 Obese 30.0 and above

    Causes of Obesity

    The balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure determines a person’s weight. At present, we know that there are many factors that contribute to obesity, some of which are:
  • Genetics. A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese.
  • Overeating. Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in fat.
  • Slow metabolism. Women have less muscle than men. Muscle burns more calories than other tissue (which includes fat). As a result, women have a slower metabolism than men, and hence, have a tendency to put on more weight than men, and weight loss is more difficult for women.
  • Physical inactivity. The National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that physical inactivity was strongly correlated with weight gain in both sexes.
  • Medications. Medications associated with weight gain include certain antidepressants; anti- convulsants. Weight gain may also be seen with some high blood pressure medications and antihistamines.
  • Psychological factors. For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to emotions such as boredom, sadness, stress or anger.
  • Diseases such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome are also contributors to obesity.
  • Lack of sleep may also contribute to obesity.

    Consequences of Obesity

    Health Risks
  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Gastro esophageal reflux.
  • Osteoarthritis, a disease in which the joints deteriorate. (book take) This is possibly the result of excess weight on the joints.
  • Gout, another disease affective the joints.
  • Pulmonary (breathing) problems, including sleep apnea, which causes a persons to stop breathing for a short time during sleep.
  • Reproductive problems in women, including menstrual irregularities and infertility.
  • Doctor’s provides generally agree that the more obese a person is, the more likely he or she is to develop health problems.

    Psychological and Social Effects:

    Emotional suffering may be one of the most painful parts of obesity. Many people think that individuals with obesity are glutinous, lazy, or both. Feelings of rejection, shame, or depression may occur.

    Management of Obesity

    Doctors generally agree that people who have a BMI of 30 or greater can improve their health through weight loss.
    This is especially true for people with a BMI of 40 or greater, who are considered extremely obese. Preventing additional weight gain is recommended if you have a BMI between 25 and 29.9, unless you have other risk factors for obesity-related diseases.