Weight gain becomes a problem when your Body Mass Index (weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared) reaches 30 or above. With a BMI over 40, you are considered mortally obese and will almost certainly be prone to one or several severe health problems. The BMI is the most common and reliable form of obesity diagnosis.
Those suffering from obesity will also appear physically overweight, often with a waist circumference larger than 80 cm.
The causes of obesity are well documented and easily distinguished. When a person takes in more calories than they burn off, the excess energy is stored in fat deposits around the body. This is most likely to occur in those with diets high in fat and sugar, and with inactive lifestyles. A lack of regular exercise is one of the key causes of weight gain and, at the more extreme end, obesity.
In some cases, excessive weight gain may be caused by problems with the thyroid gland. The thyroid controls metabolism (how food is converted to energy and used by the body). An under-active thyroid gland can alter how much energy is stored as fat. In these cases, hormone replacement therapy may be necessary to restore the balance.
When it comes to health problems, there are many obesity dangers. Diabetes is a common result of prolonged obesity. Similarly heart disease, heart failure, strokes, cancer, and depression are just a few of the many illnesses that obesity can trigger.
It's generally accepted that living in a state of obesity will ultimately cause sustained damage to your health. Despite this, it is still an epidemic across the western hemisphere. The obesity rate in Britain is 25%, and in the US it's now as high as 36%.
Obesity help can come in many forms. Social groups and classes specifically designed to promote active lifestyles and a calorie-controlled diet are very popular, particularly in hotspots such as Europe and America.
In many cases, taking up exercise as a hobby, or simply incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine (such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator) can help alleviate obesity dangers. Eating foods high in fibre and protein, and low in fats and sugars is also a straight-forward way to lose extra weight. In extreme cases, surgery may be required, such as the implementation of a gastric band to regulate the amount of food a patient can consume.
These rare cases aside, reaching your target weight can be a long and difficult process, and maintaining a healthy BMI is often harder than losing the initial weight. Committing to a permanent change in attitude and lifestyle is often the only way to guarantee an end to obesity problems.
Many people find that incorporating more activity into their day and eating more nutritious meals improves their lives in a number of unexpected ways. As well as weight loss, these steps have been shown to increase mood and confidence, improve sleep, and enhance energy and concentration levels.
Losing weight isn't just about looking great, it's about feeling great and avoiding serious health issues too.