Obesity is a condition where a person has accumulated so much body fat that it might have a negative effect on their health.
If a person’s bodyweight is at least 20% higher than it should be, he or she is considered obese. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese.
What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
The body mass index (BMI) is a statistical measurement derived from your height and weight. Although it is considered to be a useful way to estimate healthy body weight, it does not measure the percentage of body fat. The BMI measurement can sometimes be misleading – a muscleman may have a high BMI but have much less fat than an unfit person whose BMI is lower. However, in general, the BMI measurement can be a useful indicator for the ‘average person’.
Why do people become obese?
People can become obese for many different reasons. Let’s look at some of the most common ones:
1) Consuming too many calories.
2) Leading a sedentary lifestyle
3) Not sleeping enough
4) Endocrine disruptors, such as some foods that interfere with lipid metabolism.
5) Medications that make patients put on weight
The most common treatments to battle obesity are physical activity and dietary changes. But as a last resort prescription medications can be used.
Prescription medications should only be considered other strategies to lose weight have failed. There are two approved drugs a physician may consider, Sibutramine (Meridia in USA/Canada, Reductil in Europe and much of the world) or Orlistat (Xenical). Bear in mind that as soon as you stop taking these drugs the overweight problem generally comes back – they have to be taken indefinitely. Some patients may not respond to these drugs, while others may find their beneficial effects may lessen somewhat after a few months.