Obesity: A Disease
- Obesity is a serious, chronic disease and not a simple condition.Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity is more than just a cosmetic concern, though. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Being extremely obese means you are especially likely to have health problems related to your weight.
- The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity. You can usually lose weight through dietary changes, increased physical activity and behavior changes. In some cases, prescription medications or weight-loss surgery may be options.
Obesity is diagnosed when an individual’s body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. Your body mass index is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in meters (m) squared.
|18.5 — 24.9||Normal|
|25.0 — 29.9||Overweight|
|30.0 and higher||Obese|
|40.0 and higher||Extreme obesity|
Because BMI doesn’t directly measure body fat, some people, such as muscular athletes, may have a BMI in the obese category even though they don’t have excess body fat.
When to see a doctor
- If you think you may be obese, and especially if you’re concerned about weight-related health problems, see your doctor or health care provider. You and your doctor can evaluate your health risks and discuss your weight-loss options. Even modest weight loss can lessen or prevent problems related to obesity. Weight loss is usually possible through dietary changes, increased physical activity and behavior changes. In some cases, prescription medications or weight-loss surgery may be options.