Obesity is a term used to describe a person who is extremely overweight with a high percentage of body fat. There is a high prevalence of people affected by it in the UK, with an estimated 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children aged 10-11 in the UK.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as a measure of whether you are a healthy weight for your height. On average, a BMI of 30- 39.9 is considered obese, and 40 and above is severely obese. However, it is worth noting that sometimes BMI values can be misleading especially if you have a lot of muscle. Another more robust measure of excess fat is waist circumference measurement, where men with a waist bigger than 94cm and women with a waist bigger than 80cm have a higher risk of developing obesity related problems, such as coronary heart disease and stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancers.
Obesity is generally caused by the consumption of an excessive amount of calories, than more that you burn off through physical activity. The excess calories consumed are usually from sugary and highly fatty foods, which also can be promoted by lifestyles that include spending a lot of time sitting down, whether it is at work or at home.
The best treatment to combat obesity is a healthier calorie-reduced diet and increased exercise. A balanced diet can be recommended by your doctor, or nutritionist. Taking up physical activity such as jogging swimming and tennis, starting with an hour a day is also good. Physiological support from a trained professional is also useful in helping change the way you think about food.
There is also a drug called orlistat which may be recommended by your GP. It helps by reducing fat absorption during digestion. In some cases, weight loss surgery such as a gastric band may be recommended, though it is encouraged to try and use a calorie controlled diet as a first step for weight loss.
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Doctify Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, please call 999 for immediate assistance.