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Obesity: Reasons, Risks, and Solutions

What is obesity?

Day after day, obesity spreads among all people categories and ages, threatening their health conditions and life. In the past few years, obesity rates have been raised across the world, reaching scary levels. According to the world health organization, obesity is ‘’ an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’’. Obesity could start when food intake exceeds the expended by physical activity and metabolism. Basically, it is defined by an individual's body mass index (BMI).

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a value calculated from a person’s weight and height. It helps evaluate an individual's healthy body by assessing if the weight is in relation to height. People could be classified into many categories based on their BMI:

Underweight: if BMI is less than 18.5

Normal weight: if BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9

Overweight: if BMI is between 25 and 29.9

Obese (Class 1): if BMI is between 30 and 34.9

Obese (Class 2): if BMI is between 35 and 39.9

Obese (Class 3, or severe obese): if BMI is 40 or higher


What are the reasons for obesity?

In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that more than 1.9 billion adults are overweight, and over 650 million are classified as obese. Obesity results from many reasons and factors, such as:

Poor diet: it is the consumption of foods that contains a high amount of calories, fats, sugars, and processed ingredients.


Sedentary lifestyle: it is the lack of physical activities and sports practices.


Genetics: certain genes impact metabolism, fat storage, and appetite regulation, the thing that could cause obesity.


Environmental factors: unbalanced nutritious diet, unorganized lifestyle, consumption of large portions, consumption of unhealthy food (fast food, street food…) and high-calorie foods, lack of sport and physical activity spaces…etc.


What are the risks of obesity?

Obesity is a dilemma that highly contributes to developing several dangerous health problems that are considered individual's life-threatening, including:


Chronic diseases: type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer (breast, colon, and kidney.


Cardiovascular problems: high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks, and heart failure.


Respiratory issues: sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, and asthma.


Cholesterol: "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides.


Joint problems: joint pain, osteoarthritis, …


In addition to physical diseases, obesity negatively influences the individual mental health. It could lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and social stigmatization, affecting a person's well-being and quality of life. These physical and mental health problems caused by obesity could reduce individual life expectancy.


Obesity is started to be an epidemic where over 4 million people pass away every year because of obesity. These numbers are an alarming indicator of the current health situation and lifestyle across the world. Therefore, it is the right time to be aware of the factors and risks of this dilemma to avoid it and maintain a healthy weight and life. Many solutions could help reduce obesity and sustain a healthy weight, such as a balanced diet, physical activities and sport, and obesity surgeries such as gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery.

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