Addiction A-Z

Obesity

The most simplistic definition of obesity is when a patient has an amount of fat on his or her body that is above a particular threshold set by a medical or scientific body. In fact, each person’s body weight can be classified from underweight to morbidly obese and will depend on a variety of factors such as age, height and body type. The body mass index (BMI) plays a vital role in the classification; obesity occurs at a BMI of more than 30 kg/m2. When someone has reached the point when their body mass index indicates obesity, he could experience health issues, some of which may limit his life span. People become obese primarily by having a caloric intake that is greater than their caloric output (burn). Any excess caloric intake that is not burned off will be stored on the body as fat. If, at a later time, the body stops taking in enough food to meet daily needs, the fat may be broken down and used as fuel; otherwise, the fat will remain on the body. We can regulate our caloric cycle by manipulating both the amount of calories we consume and the amount calories we burn off through exercise and other activities. Disorders such as diabetes and leptin resistance, however, may reduce the efficiency of the way our bodies burn calories and cause us to gain more weight than we normally would. People who are obese will inevitably experience problems in their daily lives, such as issues with mobility, heart disease, cancer or diabetes. The physical manifestations of obesity can also interfere with other aspects of a person’s life such as mental health, interpersonal relationships and career. The longer a person is obese, the greater the likelihood that one or more of these problem will be irreversible.

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