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What is Obesity?

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What is Obesity?

Obesity is characterized by excess body fat. Excess body fat can be determined a number of ways; the most common being the calculation of body mass index (BMI) (which is weight divided by height squared).  People are overweight when their BMI reaches 25 or more. They have obesity when their BMI exceeds 30. Obesity is a disease. The accumulation of body fat in obesity can impair health and required lifelong management.

If you are asking yourself if you have overweight or obesity, you can calculate your BMI, here.  Though weight gain and loss is a matter of energy balance (energy in vs energy out), this balance and the causes of obesity are complex because many factors affect energy balance. Even with the same diet or the same level of exercise, the weight that a person’s body settles varies widely.  

The aim of this guide is to help inform those with obesity and the general public about this illness.


Causes of Obesity

Did you know obesity is now considered a chronic disease? We’ve mentioned that obesity is characterized by excess or abnormal body fat that can impair your health. The popular belief: is obesity is determined by food and exercise.  But, as we speak today, many organizations including Obesity Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the World Health Organization now consider obesity to be a chronic disease. Obesity is a complex illness caused by many factors. Obesity can be caused by your environment, genes, emotional health, lack of sleep, medical problems, or even some medication you might be on. The international scientific community agrees, despite any of the popular beliefs, that obesity is a complex chronic disease.


External Links

What is Obesity (obesity.org)

Understanding Obesity (obesitycanada.ca)

Topics Obesity (who.int)

Overweight and Obesity (who.int)

CMA Recognizes Obesity as a Disease (cma.com)

American Medical Association: Obesity Is a Disease (healthline.com)