Obesity – Causes and Symptoms


Obesity is a health condition which is defined by an excessive amount of body fat deposition. It states that the body weight is greater than what is required to be healthy and fit. One usually measures obesity on the basis of body mass index.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a method used to define a healthy weight. BMI helps to estimate the amount of body fat based on your height and weight. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight (in Kg) by your height (in Meters) squared. BMI of 30 or higher means that the person falls under the obese category. Obesity can lead to many health problems.

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Obesity causesObesity Causes

There are many reasons that make one obese. Some of the most common obesity causes are as follows:

  • Poor eating habits and poor lifestyle: Weight gain becomes uncontrollable when you regularly eat more calories as compared to what you burn. One must avoid consuming fast foods and beverages that too high in calories. Family members usually share the same eating habits, so obesity does run in the family.
  • Lack of physical activity: Being physically active helps burn the calories consumed and maintaining a healthy weight. A sedentary lifestyle keeps one at a higher risk of becoming obese and overweight.
  • Genetics: Genes also play an important role in how efficiently the food is converted into energy and the calories are burnt during any physical activity. Some rare genetic conditions such as ‘Prader-Willi-Syndrome’ can also cause obesity and it becomes tough to lose weight. Obese parents mostly harbour obese kids.
  • Health conditions and use of certain medications: Some antidepressants and anti-seizure medications, steroids, diabetes medications, and antipsychotic medications can lead to weight gain. So, to compensate for any side-effects of such medicines, one needs to concentrate on diet and be more physically active. Hypothyroidism also contributes to obesity.
  • Pregnancy: A woman’s weight increases during pregnancy which is very obvious. But some women find it difficult to shed those extra pounds after giving birth to the baby. This weight gain is a major cause of obesity in women.
  • Improper sleep: Getting too much or too little sleep tend to cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite and you can end up eating extra which can contribute to weight gain.

Obesity symptomsObesity Symptoms

Being overweight can lead to many health problems and restrict one from carrying out routine activities efficiently. Obesity can be hazardous to health and is itself a major health problem. Some symptoms of obesity that are easily noticeable are:

  • Increased BMI: Increased BMI is the primary sign or symptom of obesity. BMI of 30 or more means obesity.
  • Health problems: Obesity can lead to many health problems like heart diseases, Diabetes, High blood pressure, High cholesterol.
  • Sleep apnoea: This is a condition of breathing problem which causes irregular breathing during sleep.
  • Osteoarthritis: Due to increasing weight one can suffer from osteoarthritis in the knee and hip joints which are the weight-bearing joints and lower back pain.
  • Increased sweating: Obesity leads to increased sweating which causes fungal rashes and other skin infections due to moisture accumulation in the folds of the skin.
  • Varicose veins, shortness of breath, snoring are some other health problems that may be the symptoms of obesity.

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