What is obesity?« Back to Questions List

Obesity is the condition in which the human body accumulates excess fat that paves way for lot of diseases. Our body weight includes bones, muscles, water and fat too. While obese people have excess fat, overweight people have excess body weight. Women normally have more body fat than men. Women are also known to have a higher percentage of obesity than men.


To estimate obesity, people rely on BMI. BMI stands for body mass index. It is calculated as a ratio of weight to height. The index determines whether a person has got a normal weight for the given height. When BMI is between 25-30 Kg/m2, the person is said to be overweight and more than 30 kg/m2 indicates that the person is obese.

One major cause of obesity is found to be our lifestyle. Natural foods like fruits and vegetables have lost their battle with fast foods, soda fizzlers and other tasty food. Also our body does not do enough physical work to get rid of bad stuff that enters the body. In a long run, when there is no proper balance between our energy consumed (intake) and energy spent the body starts to accumulate excess fat leading to obesity. Obesity could also be due to lack of proper sleep, medical reasons like genetic inheritance, hormone disorders (thyroid) etc. Obese people are at a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension because of higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

When the food intake is more than what is needed for normal functioning and level of physical activity being done, excess fat starts to accumulate. This fat gets accumulated in the blood vessels near the heart, bone marrow, kidney and many other parts. Normally fat accumulation happens below the waist in women and in stomach in men. When fat in the blood vessels starts to block them, blood pressure starts to increase and trying to pump more blood from the heart. Heart that works continuously all through the life time is put under immense stress leading to heart attacks. One can increase the physical activity but for the same amount of food intake in order to get rid off the excess fat.

Doing lots of physical activity like walking, running, playing, exercising, having right amount of meals at proper time and getting enough sleep can help us stay fit. How obesity increases heart attack and affects other organs?

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