A complex chronic illness, obesity is defined by an excess of body fat. The Body Mass Index (BMI), which is computed by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in metres, is frequently used to measure it. Obese people are generally defined as having a BMI of 30 or over. Waist hip ratio is also a very useful tool in determining visceral fat as we Asians have a very high tendency to develop visceral fat which is responsible for mist of the obesity related problems like type 2 diabetes, dyslipedemia, pcos etc


The Role of Lifestyle in Obesity

Lifestyle choices play a pivotal role in the development and management of obesity. Diet and physical activity are the most modifiable factors. A diet high in processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats contributes to weight gain, while regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight and prevents the onset of obesity-related diseases. Addressing lifestyle factors involves not only individual efforts but also broader societal changes to promote healthy eating and active living environments.

Psychological and Social Impacts of Obesity

Obesity often has significant psychological and social repercussions. Many individuals with obesity face stigma and discrimination, which can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Social isolation is also common as obese individuals may withdraw from social interactions due to body image concerns or physical limitations. Addressing the psychological and social impacts of obesity requires a compassionate approach that includes mental health support and efforts to reduce societal stigma.

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Causes of Obesity


Family history can influence the likelihood of becoming obese. Genetic factors can affect metabolism, fat storage, and distribution.


High-calorie, low-nutrient diets rich in processed foods, sugary beverages, and unhealthy fats contribute significantly to weight gain.

Physical Inavtivity

Sedentary lifestyles with minimal physical activity can lead to weight gain and obesity.

Environmental Factors

Urbanization, lack of access to healthy foods, and limited opportunities for physical activity can promote obesity.

Psychological Factors

Stress, emotional eating, and mental health conditions like depression can influence eating habits and weight.

Medical Conditions and Medications

Certain medical conditions (e.g., hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome) and medications (e.g., antidepressants, corticosteroids) can contribute to weight gain.

Health Risks Associated with Obesity

Cardiovascular Diseases

High blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke are more common in obese individuals.

Type 2 Diabetes

Excess body fat, particularly around the abdomen, increases the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.

Musculoskeletal Problems

Obesity can lead to joint pain, osteoarthritis, and reduced mobility.

Respiratory Issues

Conditions such as sleep apnea and asthma are more prevalent in obese individuals.


Certain types of cancer, including breast, colon, and endometrial cancer, are associated with obesity.

Psychological Effects

Obesity can contribute to low self-esteem, depression, and social isolation.

Prevention and Management of Obesity

Healthy Eating

Adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is crucial. Limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and high-calorie snacks can help maintain a healthy weight.

Engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week is recommended. Activities like walking, cycling, swimming, and strength training can be beneficial.

Setting realistic goals, self-monitoring food intake and physical activity, and seeking support from healthcare professionals or weight loss groups can enhance weight management efforts.

In some cases, medications or weight-loss surgery (e.g., bariatric surgery) may be necessary, especially when obesity-related health conditions are present.

Regular follow-ups with healthcare providers, nutritionists, or counselors can help maintain motivation and address challenges in weight management.