It is a chronic disease in which there is an excessive accumulation of lipids in the body, which can trigger a series of complications and comorbidities that seriously affect health.
According to official figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 1975 there are three times more obese patients worldwide without distinction of sex, race, age, or social status.
Body weight is the result of the sum of muscle mass, bones, fat, and water in the body. When there is too much adipose tissue, weight increases and health begins to deteriorate.
When the balance between a person’s weight and height is lost, it is considered as a case of obesity.
The main cause of obesity is the intake of a greater number of calories with respect to the calories that are burned with physical activity. This caloric surplus is transformed into fat, forming deposits in the body. However, there are other reasons, such as:
- Metabolic: body imbalances that promote the development of obesity.
- Sedentary lifestyle: the lack of physical activity does not allow the energetic waste thus accumulating bodyfat.
- Genetics: family history of obesity.
- Eating habits: consuming large amounts of fats, sugars, carbohydrates, and processed foods.
- Age: over the years, muscle mass is lost and metabolism slows down, causing a greater accumulation of fat.
- Hormonal disorders: some hormonal imbalances cause weight gain, as hypothyroidism.
- Pregnancy: although it is normal to gain weight during pregnancy, it should also be normal to return to the previous weight at the end of this stage, but in many cases this does not happen and mothers become chronically obese.
- Menopause: when hormonal changes occur, women tend to gain weight.
In adults, overweight and obesity is determined with the body mass index (BMI), an indicator created to measure the balance between weight and height in order to see if there is a balance between the two.
WHO establishes the parameters of overweight and obesity with the following values:
- Overweight: BMI equal to 25 or higher.
- Obesity: BMI equal to 30 or higher.
In the case of children, age is also considered to define overweight or obesity.
Having a high body mass index can trigger serious conditions, such as:
- Cardiovascular pathologies.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Respiratory problems.
- Sexual dysfunctions.
- Sleep disorders.
Additionally, obesity can lead to depression, low self-esteem, disabilities, and social isolation.