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Obesity is a complex disease characterized by an excess of body fat. Obesity is more than just a cosmetic issue. It is a medical condition that raises the risk of developing other diseases and health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

Some people struggle to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Obesity is typically caused by a combination of inherited, physiological, and environmental factors, as well as dietary, physical activity, and exercise choices.

The good news is that even minor weight loss can improve or prevent obesity-related health problems. Weight loss can be aided by a healthier diet, increased physical activity, and behavioral changes. Prescription medications and weight-loss procedures are also treatment options for obesity.


Obesity is frequently diagnosed using the body mass index (BMI). To calculate BMI, multiply your weight in pounds by 703, then divide it by your height in inches. Alternatively, multiply your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.

BMI Weight status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5-24.9 Normal
25.0-29.9 Overweight
30.0 and higher Obesity

Asians with a BMI of 23 or higher are at a higher risk of health problems.

BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat for the majority of people. However, because BMI does not directly measure body fat, some people, such as muscular athletes, may have a BMI in the obesity category despite having no excess body fat.

Many doctors use waist circumference measurements to help guide treatment decisions. Weight-related health issues are more common in men with waist circumferences greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters) and in women with waist circumferences greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).


Your doctor will usually perform a physical exam and recommend some tests to diagnose obesity.

These exams and tests typically include the following:

  • Taking a medical history. Your doctor may examine your weight history, weight-loss efforts, physical activity and exercise habits, eating patterns and appetite control, other medical conditions, medications, stress levels, and other health issues. Your doctor may also examine your family’s medical history to see if you are predisposed to certain diseases.
  • A general physical examination. This includes taking your height, checking your vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, listening to your heart and lungs, and examining your abdomen.
  • Determining your BMI. Your doctor will calculate your BMI (BMI). Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher. Numbers greater than 30 raise health risks even further. Your BMI should be checked at least once a year because it can help determine your overall health risks and appropriate treatments.
  • Measure the circumference of your waist. Fat around the waist, also known as visceral fat or abdominal fat, may increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Women with waist circumferences greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters) and men with circumferences greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters) may face greater health risks than people with smaller waist circumferences. Waist circumference, like BMI, should be measured at least once a year.
  • Checking for other health problems. If you have any known health issues, your doctor will assess them. Your doctor will also look for other potential health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, an underactive thyroid, liver issues, and diabetes.Gathering this information will help you and your doctor choose the type of treatment that will work best for you.

Gathering this information will help you and your doctor choose the type of treatment that will work best for you.

What results can I expect with obesity treatment?

If you suffer from obesity, treatment can help you recover from conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Liver disease
  • Arthritis
  • Sleep apnea

Obesity treatment can also lower your risk of developing certain cancers, such as breast and colon cancer. Although weight loss does not happen overnight, most people notice more energy, fewer food cravings, improved mood, and other benefits after beginning an obesity treatment program.