Medical Awareness >>   Obesity


Overweight and obesity are widely spread and are often described as an unnatural or excessive fat mass that offers health risks. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is deemed overweight, and over 30 is obese. Rates of overweight and obesity continue to grow irrationally in adults and children, and obesity is sometimes one of the burdens of malnutrition. Overweight and obesity are now dramatically rising in India, particularly in urban settings. Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It's a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers. These are the effects of obesity


  • Obesity and overweight are primarily caused by an imbalance in energy between calories consumed and calories burned. Globally, there has been a rise in the consumption of calorie-dense foods that are rich in fat and sugar as well as an increase in physical inactivity as a result of the changing modes of transportation, rising urbanization, and the sedentary nature of many occupations.
  • A lack of supportive policies in areas including health, agriculture, transportation, urban planning, environment, food processing, distribution, marketing, and education often leads to environmental and sociological changes that affect dietary and physical activity habits.

Some commonest causes of obesity or being overweight are-

  • Genetics
  • Excessive food intake
  • Lack of physical activity 

Childhood obesity causes-

  • Diet habits
  • Maternal smoking
  • Epigenetic factors
  • Genetics basis
  • Effects of non-breast feeding
  • Lack of physical activity or exercise 

Classification of obesity-


BMI (Kg/m2)


< 18.5

Normal weight




Obese class I


Obese class II


Obese class III

More than equal to 40.0

  • Any BMI ≥ 35 or 40 kg/m2 is severe obesity.
  • A BMI of ≥ 35 kg/m2 and experiencing obesity-related health conditions or ≥ 40 or 45 kg/m2 is morbid obesity.
  • A BMI of ≥ 45 or 50 kg/m2 is super obesity.


The primary causes of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disorders like heart disease and stroke, which result in many fatalities, include being overweight and obesity. Diabetes, which can result in blindness, limb amputations, the requirement for dialysis, and other associated problems, can also be brought on by obesity (including being overweight). Diabetes prevalence is rising, and being overweight can cause a number of health issues. Additionally, obesity is linked to a number of malignancies, including those of the breast, ovary, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, etc. Even when a person is only somewhat overweight, their risk of developing one of these non-communicable diseases rises, and their condition gets worse as their BMI rises.

Obesity in childhood is associated with many serious health complications and an increased risk of premature onset of related illnesses. Studies have found that children and adolescents with obesity will likely continue to be obese into adulthood.

Obesity - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Complications, Treatment

Diagnosis of obesity-

  • By BMI calculation
  • Skin fold thickness tests
  • Waist to hip comparisons 
  • Screening tests such as ultrasounds, MRI scans and CT scans

Diagnosis of obesity related health risks-

  • Blood tests for cholesterol and glucose levels
  • Liver function tests 
  • Diabetes screening
  • Thyroid tests 
  • ECG or EKG  i.e, heart tests 
  • Fat around waist 


Mainstay of treatment is-

Prevention and Control-

The majority of factors that cause overweight and obesity are avoidable and treatable. Although there are other contributing factors, an imbalance between calories burned and ingested is the primary cause of obesity. One of the numerous causes is the rising consumption of foods that are high in fat and sugar and are also energy-dense. Due to the lockout situation, rising urbanization, and the dynamic nature of many employment kinds, there has also been a discernible decline in physical exercise.

Lowering the risk of overweight and obesity includes reducing calories consumed from fats and sugars, increasing daily intake of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts, and engaging in regular physical activity. In babies, studies have shown that exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 6 months reduces the risk of infants becoming overweight or obese. It should be controlled thus starting from individual level by limiting energy or calorie intake, engaging in physical exercise etc. 

Fact Check-

  • 1.9 billion Adults were overweight and 650 million were obese in 2016 worldwide. 38.3 million Children were estimated to be overweight or obese in 2019.
  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
  • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
  • Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
  • 39 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2020.
  • Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
  • Obesity is preventable.
  • Prognosis of obesity is reduced life expectancy.
  • Deaths by obesity are 2.8 million per year.
  • More than 75%of Black community is affected by obesity as compared to Whites.
  • Obesity problem is like any other global epidemic.
  • Only 29 % of US adults have a healthy weight.
  • More than 6 out of 10 men and 5 out of 10 women are obese.
  • India is third most obese nation in the world.
  • For a healthy energy balance and weight, energy input should be equal to energy output.
  • 44 % of diabetes, 23% of ischemic heart disease and 41% of cancers are attributable to being overweight or obesity.
  • Overweight kids usually become overweight adults.
  • One out of every three Americans suffers from obesity.
  • 4th March is celebrated as World Obesity Day.
  • In the past years, obesity is seen highly increasing so sometimes it is called as a Global Epidemic or Ticking Time bomb.
  • Some pets also suffer from obesity.
  • Overeating does not cause obesity rather the disease of obesity causes overeating.
  • Lack of sleep also causes obesity.
  • Less intake of water causes obesity in some people.
  • Honey Lemon water is a natural treatment for obesity, to be taken as the first thing in morning after waking up.

PGC Resolution-

Spread awareness so that people control and prevent overweight and obesity which leads to diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.