Obesity – Disease Overview
We have created a series of medical education videos to EMPOWER people. The aim is to create an awareness of different diseases.
We hope you find this useful.
Obesity – Overview
At future Genetics we want to engage with people and patients so that they can better understand diseases and illnesses that are relevant to them. The information provided here is for educational purposes only. Please always see your doctor for any concerns you may have.
My name is Alice and I am a research scientist. Today I am going to summarise obesity. I’ll begin by giving you an overview of the disease and then move on to talk about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and complications that are associated with obesity.
Depending on our age and height there is a weight range that is considered as being healthy if we exceed this range then you fall into categories that are classed as being overweight. If these are then exceeded and our body weight continues to increase then a person may fall into the category of being obese.
Being overweight or obese is typically associated with a person carrying too much body fat. Many people in the UK have issues with maintaining a healthy body weight and during their life may become overweight or obese. Statistics show that approximately 25% of adults which represents 1 in 4 people in the UK are overweight or obese. The statistics for children aged between 10 and 11 years of age show that 20% or 1 in 5 are clinically overweight or obese.
What is obesity?
a method called the body mass index (BMI) is used to determine whether a person is overweight or obese. The BMI is calculated by measuring a person body weight and height. There are a number of BMI calculators that are available for you to check whether you have a healthy BMI
The BMI calculator on the NHS.uk website is a good tool to use. For adults the BMI score can fall into one of four segments
1) BMI scores between 18.5 to 24.9 may represent a healthy body weight
2) scores between 25 to 29.9 are suggestive of being overweight
3) values of 39.9 are indicative of a person being obese
4) scores beyond this, e. 40+ support that the person is severely obese
This BMI method does have its limitations because a BMI score that falls outside the healthy range ie. 18.5 to 24.9 may not necessarily mean a person is overweight or obese. This is because a person may not have much body fat but instead may hold muscle, which is naturally quite dense. Despite this limitation the BMI method can be a useful way of knowing whether a person’s body weight is healthy.
In order to test the validity of the BMI score excess fat can be measured by looking at the waist circumference for people that are overweight or moderately obese according to their BMI score
Studies have shown that men who have weight circumferences of 37 inches or more, which is 90 cm and women with waist circumference of 39 inches or more which converts to 80 cms have an elevated risk of developing poor health associated with obesity
Why is obesity a problem?
We are encouraged to be mindful of not becoming overweight or obese because not only does it affect our physical appearance which can present psychological issues in some people, it leads to elevated risks to some serious and potentially life threatening diseases. These include:
coronary heart disease,
type 2 diabetes
cancers such as breast and bowel.
Studies have shown that people that are obese have a relatively poor quality of life compared to the general populations, studies suggest that obese people are more likely to have psychological challenges such as low self esteem and depression.