What Defines Obesity?

Overweight and obesity are defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that poses a health risk. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obesity.

What Defines Obesity?

Overweight and obesity are defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that poses a health risk. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obesity. Excess weight can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, including osteoarthritis. A weight above what is considered healthy for a given height is described as overweight or obese.

Body mass index (BMI) is a screening tool for overweight and obesity. For adults, experts usually define obesity based on body mass index, or BMI. This formula relates weight to height. Webster's dictionary defines obesity as "a condition characterised by excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body".

The Obesity Medicine Association's definition of obesity is "a chronic, relapsing, multifactorial, neurobehavioural disease in which increased body fat promotes adipose tissue dysfunction and abnormal physical forces of fat mass, resulting in adverse metabolic, biomechanical and psychosocial health consequences". Body mass index (BMI), used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, is a person's weight in kilograms divided by their height squared in metres. BMI usually correlates with the degree of body "fatness", but should not be the only indicator of the presence of metabolic disease risk. The advantages of using BMI are that it is easy to perform, inexpensive and reproducible.

The disadvantages are that it does not take into account gender, ethnicity, muscle mass and frame size. Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity is not just an aesthetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

The terms "overweight" and "obesity" refer to a body weight that is greater than what is considered normal or healthy for a given height. Overweight is usually due to excess body fat. However, overweight can also be due to excess muscle, bone or water. People with obesity often have too much body fat.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to the 95th percentile of the 2000 CDC gender-specific growth charts. Because children grow at different rates, depending on their age and sex, the definitions of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents differ from those in adults. Obesity is defined as a chronic, progressive, relapsing and multifactorial disease, which means that obesity is complicated.

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