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Obesity is an excessive amount of body fat that may trigger other diseases and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancers.


Obesity is an excessive amount of body fat that may trigger other diseases and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancers. This complex disease may be the result of a combination of inherited factors, the environment, personal diet, and choices of exercise. Weight loss can improve and prevent health problems. You may change some of your habits including changing your diet and increasing physical activity. The doctor may provide you with several medical helps such as some medications or medical procedures to promote your weight loss.

Symptoms of Obesity

Generally, you will be diagnosed with obesity if your body mass index or BMI reaches 30 or higher. BMI is able to estimate the body fat but it does not accurately measure body fat. BMI can be high in muscular people who may not have excess body fat as well.

When to see the doctor

You may consult a doctor if you are concerned about health problems that may relate to your body weight.

Causes of Obesity

There are several reasons resulting in obesity including genetic, behavioral, metabolic, and hormonal factors. Taking too many calories for your body to burn out through normal activities or exercises is one of the most common causes of obesity.

Risk factors

There are several factors that increase the risk of obesity including the combination of the factors below.

  • Genetic influences
    Body fat tends to have a relationship with genetics. Apart from the excess of body fat, genetics may take part in converting food into energy, burning calories, and regulating appetite.
  •  Choices of lifestyle
    Choices of lifestyle play an important role of developing excessing of body fat that causes obesity. The choices may include:
    • Unhealthy diet
    • Liquid calories
    • Inactivity
  • Other diseases and medications
    Obesity can also be the result of some medical problems such as arthritis, Cushing syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. Moreover, it may be a side effect of several medications such as anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antidepressants, steroids, and beta blockers.
  • Social and economic issues
    Obesity is found to be related to social and economic issues. People you are around may influence your weight since you may have similar dietary, activities  and lifestyle.
  • Age
    Even though obesity can occur at any age, some systems such as hormones, metabolism, and amount of muscle are changed and affect your weight control.
  • Other factors
    Some other factors that may trigger the increase of your body fat and lead to obesity may include:
    • Pregnancy
    • Quitting smoking
    • Lack of sleep
    • Stress
    • Microbiome
    • Previous attempts to lose weight


    People with obesity may have more tendency of the following complications.

    • Heart disease
    • Stroke
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Some kinds of cancer
    • Digestive problems
    • Gynecological and sexual problems
    • Sleep apnea
    • Osteoarthritis


    You may decrease the risk of obesity by

    • Exercising regularly
    • A healthy dietary
    • Avoiding situations that cause you to eat
    • Monitoring your weight regularly
    • Being consistent


    The doctor may perform some tests to diagnose obesity and investigate the factor causing the obesity The tests may include:

    • Health history review
    • Physical exam
    • Calculating BMI
    • Measurement of waist circumference
    • Other health problems check
    • Blood test


    The purposes of treatment are to reach and maintain a healthy weight. You may change some of your behavior and habits or the doctor may recommend a team of health professionals including a dietitian, behavioral counselor or obesity specialist may work with you to create a weight-loss program that helps you understand and be able to follow the plan.

    The program may suggest you to follow a healthy-lifestyle plan including:

    • Dietary changes
      The aim of this procedure is to reduce calories and practice healthier eating habits. This plan may be approximately six months long with the need for at least a year of maintenance. The plan may include:
      • Cutting calories
      • Feeling full on less such as by consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits that contain less calories.
      • Making healthier choices of food
      • Limiting the amount of some food groups such as carbohydrates and fat
      • Meal replacement
    • Exercise and activity
      Exercise and other physical activities are highly recommended as an essential part of the treatment.

    Apart from the weight-loss program, the doctor may:

    • Prescribe weight-loss medication
    • Recommend some procedures and surgery such as:
      • Endoscopic procedures for weight loss
      • Weight-loss surgery such as
        • Gastric bypass surgery
        • Adjustable gastric banding
        • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch
        • Gastric sleeve
      • Other treatments such as vagal nerve blockage

    Preventing weight regain after obesity treatment

    One of the best ways to prevent weight regain is to exercise regularly for around 45-60 minutes a day. Some other physical activities may be recommended according to your physical conditions. You are advised to maintain a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight in the long term.