Is Obesity a Disease? Yes, Obesity is a disease in which body contains fat and becomes overweight in excessive amount. It is a medical issue, due to which several other health related problems occur like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, weak bones and many others.
According to WHO obesity means excessive or abnormal fat, which can be measured through Body Mass Index, in which index of weight to height is used to know if adult is overweight or obese. If BMI is equals to or over 25, it is considered overweight and when BMI is greater than or equals to 30, it is said to be obese.
However, BMI is having certain limitations as a metric as it does not draw a line between excess fat, muscle or bone mass, nor it indicates the distribution of fat among individuals. In addition, there are various factors such as sex, age, ethnicity and muscle mass which does have their influence on the relationship between BMI and body fat. Despite its drawbacks, it is widely accepted to define classes based on the BMI.
In case of adults aging 20 and above, the classes are classified in obesity BMI chart as:
|Less than or equal to 18.5||Underweight|
|18.5 to less than 25||Normal weight|
|25 to less than 30||Overweight|
|30 to less than 35||Class 1 obesity|
|35 to less than 40||Class 2 obesity|
|40 or greater than 40||Class 3 obesity(morbid, extreme or severe)|
In case of children aging 2 or above, the classes are classified in obesity BMI chart as:
|Percentile range of BMI||Class|
|Less than 5%||Underweight|
|5% or less than 85%||Normal weight|
|85% or less than 95%||Overweight|
|95% or greater||Obesity|
Age is considered while defining the overweight and obesity in children. Children who suffer from obesity often experience problem while breathing. The disease affects the patients mentally too making person lazy and weak.
What causes Obesity?
The imbalance of the calorie intake and calorie exhausted leads to the issue of overweight and obesity. Here are the few key lifestyle habits leading to the disease in modern world:
- Consuming lot of high calories like processed sugar and junk food.
- Lack of healthy diet.
- Excessive use of machines for transportation.
- Lack in physical activities.
- Having inadequate sleep, as it may leads to hormonal imbalance.
- It may be genetic, as the processing of the food within the body is inhabited through the genes.
- The aging factor, as it leads to decrease in the body metabolism.
- In some cases weight gain during Pregnancy.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), where the female’s reproductive hormone gets imbalanced.
- Prader-Willi syndrome, a hormonal imbalance leading to excessive hunger.
- Having high level of stress hormone (cortisol ) in the body known as Cushing syndrome.
- Inefficient working of Thyroid gland known as Hypothyroidism.
- In some cases quitting smoking, taking steroids or birth control pills also leads to excessive weight gain.
Obesity side effects:
- Cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure.
- Diabetes especially type 2 diabetes.
- Musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis.
- Increase in the level of bad cholesterol.
- Inflammation in the body.
- Varicose veins.
- Body ache like back and joint pain.
- The increased risk of cancer cells in organs like ovary, liver, gallbladder, colon, breast, eudiometry and kidney.
- Obesity can lead to depression and make person mentally and physically weak.
Few figures related to the obesity and overweight as per WHO:
- As per data of 2016, 13% of Adult’s (11% of men and 15% of women) are obese and nearly 39% of Adult’s (39% of men and 40% of women) are overweight in the world.
- 38.2 million Children under age of 5 years were overweight in 2019.
- Overweight deaths have increased in number in comparison to underweight cases.
- In America, every two- third of the Adult is overweight and is obese.
- Obesity is increasing massively around the world. Obesity in America is nearly 42% in adults aging 20 and above during 2017-18.
- Nauru has the highest rate of obesity in world with 61%, USA’s obesity rate is 36.20% and India has 3.90% obese people.
- Since 1975, world’s obesity has tripled in 2016.
- Nearly 38 million children under age 5 are overweight or suffering from obesity as per last year’s data.
- Obesity is one of the reason for the premature death, 8% of global deaths were due to Obesity in 2017.
- Nearly 340 million adolescents and children were obese or overweight aging 5 to 19.
- The issue of obesity and overweight in the age category of 5 to 19 has increased to 18% in 2016 as compared to that by 4% in 1975.
Prevention from obesity:
Overweight or Obesity can be prevented if proper dietary and physical habits are followed. People have to understand the importance of eating healthy and have to make right choices in between healthy and junk food. Here are few key takeaways that should be considered to avoid the risk associated.
- Proper knowledge should be given that how healthy food is necessary for the body.
- People should add vegetable, fruits, whole grains and other natural food in their diet.
- Start engaging in physical activity as much as possible.
- Make regular exercise a habit.
- Have a healthy sleep cycle.
- In case, person is suffering from morbid obesity than he/she should consult the doctor and take proper medications if needed.
- Sometimes in excess fat condition, surgery may be required.
- Healthy Lifestyle is very important to stay away from any kind of disease and to stay fit and healthy.