Obesity: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Obesity is a complex health issue that is usually associated with having an excess amount of body fat. Contrary to popular opinion, obesity is not just a cosmetic problem; it is a medical concern that has the effect of increasing a patient’s risk of other health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. The reason why it is hard for a lot of people to avoid obesity is that is can result from a complex web of genetic, environmental, emotional, and lifestyle factors. The good news is that under the guidance of Nova Physician Wellness Center, even modest weight loss can go a long way in preventing the health problems that are associated with obesity.

Symptoms of Obesity

A patient is diagnosed with obesity if their body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. BMI can be calculated by simply dividing a patient’s weight in pounds by their height in inches squared and multiplying the answer by 703. Alternatively, body mass index can be obtained by dividing the weight of a patient in kilograms by their height in meters squared. The normal body mass index should range between 18.5 and 24.9. Anything below this range indicates that a person is underweight, while anything above the range, but below 30, indicates that a person is overweight but not yet obese. In most cases, the body mass index is a reasonable estimator of body fat. However, in some cases, it can be wrong because some people, such as athletes, may have a high body mass index with low levels of body fat.

Causes of Obesity

Although there are genetic, metabolic, behavioral, hormonal, and other factors that can contribute to obesity, the problem generally occurs when a person takes in more calories than their body can burn through daily activities and physical exercise. Their body then converts the excess calories into fats, which are then stored in different parts of the body. Some risk factors associated with obesity include:

  • Having close family members with obesity (inheritance)
  • Lifestyle choices such as taking unhealthy diets and inactivity
  • Certain medication
  • Hormonal issues for example during pregnancy
  • Emotional issues such as stress and depression


Once a patient has been diagnosed with obesity, there are several treatments and therapies that their doctor can recommend to reverse the problem. Some of the common ones include:

  • Dietary changes
  • Regular exercise
  • Counseling and support groups
  • Prescriptions weight loss medication
  • Endoscopic procedure for weight loss
  • Weight loss surgery

The Takeaway

Overall, it is apparent that obesity is a medical concern that makes patients vulnerable to other serious health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Although it is influenced by a complex web of factors, obesity is an issue that can be reversed.

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