Obesity is a chronic medical condition in which a person weighs significantly more than he or she should. Specifically, it is diagnosed as a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or greater.
BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight, expressed in kilograms, by the square of his or her height, expressed in meters.
Because BMI does not take into consideration body composition, or how much fat mass and lean mass a person has, it is not a perfect tool for determining medically significant obesity. However, in most cases, it is a reliable representation.
Here are the reference ranges for BMI:
Additionally, patients may be diagnosed as severely obese if they have a BMI over 40.0 or between 35.0 and 39.9 and having at least one obesity-related health condition. Examples of obesity-related health conditions include high blood pressure and diabetes.
Many different factors may contribute to a person’s obesity. Unhealthy eating and not exercising enough are two of the main causes, but genetic, cultural, and environmental factors can all play a role.
There are many different ways to treat obesity. Some of the most common include the following:
Surgery is only required in the most severe cases, and it’s usually reserved for when other treatment options are ineffective. In most cases, patients can lose weight and overcome obesity with the right counseling and specially designed food products, and occasionally with prescription medications. To determine what course of treatment is best for them, patients should seek care from a healthcare provider who is specifically trained and experienced in obesity medicine.
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