Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health.

A practical approach for assesing body fat in the clinical setting is the BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a measure of the weight in kilograms and height in metres.
We can also use the waist circumference and waist/hip ratio to asses body fat.

Classification of body weight using BMI

classification of body weight using BMI

Risk factors for obesity

  1. High caloric diet
  2. Sedentary lifestyle (physical inactivity)
  3. Genetics
  4. Social lifestyle eg Smoking, social class, high stress levels

Dangers of obesity

  1. High blood pressure
  2. High cholesterol levels
  3. Heart attack
  4. Heart failure
  5. Diabetes mellitus
  6. Infertility
  7. Stroke
  8. Depression
  9. Social stigmatization
  10. Menstrual disorders
  11. Erectile dysfunction
  12. Fatty liver disease
  13. Asthma
  14. Osteoarthritis
  15. Gastro esophageal reflux disease etc
  16. Gallstone
  17. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  18. Metabolic Syndrome
  19. Deep Vein Thrombosis
  20. Cancers- Breast, Uterus, Cervix, Colon, Esophagus, Kidney, Pancreas, Prostrate

What investigations should I do if I am overweight/obese?

• Blood glucose level
• Glycosylated Hemoglobin
• Lipid profile (lipogram)
• Chest x-ray
• Abdominopelvic ultrasound
• Regular blood pressure check
• Renal function Test
• Uric acid

nb: further investigations may be needed based on your symptoms and results

How do I help myself?
• Weight reduction
• Low caloric diet
• Low salt diet
• Exercise (150min weekly of moderate intensity exercise)
• Regular blood pressure monitoring
• Regular blood sugar monitoring
• Medications