Measuring obesity

Obesity is measured in terms of Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure which takes into consideration both the weight and the height of a person. A person is defined as being clinically obese if their BMI is greater than 30 kg/m2.

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing a variety of diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer including cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, breast cancer, colon cancer, rectum and prostate cancer, and osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Obesity

Symptoms associated with Obesity can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pain in your back or joints
  • Excessive sweating
  • Always feeling hot
  • Rashes or infection in folds of your skin
  • Feeling out of breath with minor exertion
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Depression

Causes of Obesity

Obesity occurs when the intake of calories exceeds the amount of energy burnt through daily activity and exercise. The body then stores these excess calories as fat.

Various factors can contribute to the development of Obesity, most directly an unhealthy diet and general eating habits, combined with low activity levels. Genetic factors are also believed to contribute to the development of Obesity. Your genetic make-up can affect how efficiently your body converts food into energy, the amount of body fat you store and how that fat is distributed in the body. Additionally, Obesity runs in families, although this can be associated with lifestyle as much as genetic inheritance. Age is also a contributing factor, due to hormonal changes associated with the ageing process as well as a tendency towards a decrease in activity.

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