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What Is Obesity? Types, Causes, Effects And Management

Updated on January 5, 2013


Obesity, which is a major health issue in the developed countries, is increasing day-by-day. This is regarded as a pandemic which is giving its lethal hazardous effects on human health. Obesity is defined as accumulation of adipose tissue in such a quantity so as to impair the health. Assessment of obesity can be given through BMI calculation. BMI (Body Mass Index) can be calculated as follows:

BMI = Weight (kg)

Divided By

Height (meters square)

The normal BMI range is 18.5-25 kg/m2 (varies in different countries)

The BMI above 30kg/m2 are classified as obese. Those with BMI between 25-30kg/m2 are taken as people who are over-weight.



This type of obesity can also be called as abdominal, visceral, android or apple-shaped obesity. It is basically the type of obesity in which there is increased abdominal fat. The people with central obesity have a higher risk of acquiring heart diseases and diabetes type 2. This type is more commonly observed in men.


This type can also be called as gynoid or pear-shaped obesity. It is more commonly associated with women. In this there is fat accumulation within the subcutaneous tissue.


Obesity can occur due to multiple factors;

  • Recent research has proven complex neural mechanisms that control appetite and this is from where the weight loss and weight occurs. Obesity can also result from genetic influences such as severe childhood obesity which is very rarely seen.
  • Too much intake of saturated fats leads to fat deposition, which causes obesity. Saturated fats include fats that have animal origin. Unsaturated fats, which come from a plant origin, should be preferred.
  • Eating too much and less energy consumption can lead to a miss balance which in turn leads to fat deposition leading to obesity. Lack of exercise and excessive food intake can lead to obesity as well so there should be a balance in a person's food requirement and the amount of work he/she has per day.
  • High consumption of cholesterol is also a major factor contributing to obesity.
  • Lack of activity including; lack of sports, walking etc. also contributes to obesity.


  • Severe obesity with waist circumference greater than 102cm in men or greater than 88cm in women, indicates high risk of heart complications. This includes the increased chances of a person to suffer from Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) which is the blockage of the coronary artery which supplies blood to the heart muscle which reduces the blood supply to the heart muscle which can cause heart attack.
  • Its may cause hypertension leading to stroke.
  • Due to the increased weight cause varicose veins (as seen in the picture).
  • Obesity is directly associated with the greatly increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • The probability of gall stones is six times more common in obese than lean people.
  • Obese people suffer from joint diseases because their increased weight puts extra and unwanted load on their weight-bearing joints.


The management plan should vary in accordance with the severity of the obesity. Initiatives in reducing weight include;

  • By promoting healthy eating in schools, enhancing walking, walking.
  • To consume unsaturated fats which are extracted from plants, rather than saturated fats which are extracted from animals.
  • To eat a generous amount of fruits and vegetables, of a wide range.
  • Eating fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acid.
  • Consume enough fiber.
  • Increase exercise rate per day.
  • Usage of very low calorie diets are recommended for short term rapid weight-loss, producing losses of 1.5-2.5kg per week compared to 0.5kg per week on conventional regimes, but requires the supervision of an experienced physician.
  • Also, regular support from a dietitian is helpful.


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    • profile image

      khalida khan 6 months ago

      very well

    • profile image

      annu 2 years ago

      Thanks.... got lotts off information... it I'll really help us...

    • profile image

      nidhi 2 years ago

      Take to according to required nutrients food .

    • profile image

      Obesity.... 4 years ago

      Nice piece of work . Thanks for sharing .

    • Daniya Sheikh profile image

      Daniya Sheikh 4 years ago from Karachi

      No problem! And thanks for the vote!

    • cuttler profile image

      Cuttler 4 years ago from HubPages

      Thanks for the info. Learned a bit more about obesity today. Voted up as useful.

    • Daniya Sheikh profile image

      Daniya Sheikh 4 years ago from Karachi

      No problem, I'll always be there to help people :)

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      It's time to really take care of our bodies. It's not only to look good but the most important thing is to hurdle all the troubles in trying to be fit and healthy.

      Thanks for sharing your hub. :)