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The Facts About Obesity

What Obesity Is and What Can You Do about It

You may have heard the term, but what exactly does “obesity” mean? Obesity describes body weight that is much greater than what is considered healthy. If you are obese, you have a much higher ratio of body fat than lean muscle mass. Generally, anyone more than 100 pounds overweight is considered morbidly obese.

Causes of Obesity

When you take in more calories than you burn off, you gain weight. How and what you eat, how active you are, and other things affect how your body uses calories and whether you gain weight. The body stores unused calories as fat.

Obesity can be the result of:

  • Eating more food than the body can use
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not getting enough exercise

Medical problems frequently associated with untreated obesity and morbid obesity include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Certain cancers, including breast and colon
  • Depression
  • Osteoarthritis

Treatment

A combination of calorie restriction and exercise appears to be more effective rather than either one alone. Sticking to a weight reduction program is difficult and requires a lot of support from family and friends. Here are some other encouraging and practical tips:

  • Realize that even modest weight loss can improve your health.
  • Work with your doctor or dietitian to develop a plan best for you.
  • Focus and commit to eating a healthier diet and exercising more.
  • Adopt new behaviors: keeping a food diary, avoiding food triggers, thinking positively.

Again, work with your doctor to develop a plan that will work for you. Focus on health, not diets. Little steps mean a lot. Losing just 10 pounds can make a difference in your health.

Related health Web sites: