Overweight in Adults
(Obesity; Morbid Obesity)
DefinitionBeing overweight or obese means your weight is above an ideal weight range. Excess weight creates an increase in the risk of serious diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.One tool used to estimate weight range is called the body mass index (BMI). This scale determines weight ranges based on height. BMI levels in adults include:
- Ideal weight range: 18.5-24.9
- Overweight: 25-29.9
- Obese: 30 or above
- Morbid obesity: 40
CausesBeing overweight is caused by taking in more calories than we use. Calories are taken in through food. All activity in our bodies is fueled by calories. This includes physical activity and basic bodily functions. Excess weight gain occurs when this relationship is not kept in balance. If this imbalance happens regularly it will lead to obesity.Factors that can influence the development of obesity include:
- Biologic factors—the amount and activity of certain chemicals in the body
- Medications, such as corticosteroids, antidepressants, or antipsychotics.
- Underactive thyroid .
- Cushing's disease .
- Polycystic ovary syndrome .
Risk FactorsThis condition is more common in older adults. Factors that may increase your chance of becoming overweight include:
- Personal history of obesity as a child
- Family history of obesity
- Eating large portions of food
- Sedentary lifestyle—Getting too little exercise and spending too much time in front of a television or computer
- Eating until full and eating quickly
- High level of fast food intake
- High alcohol consumption
- Working varied shifts
- Not getting enough sleep
- Post-traumatic stress disorder in women
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