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Obesity might be the source of all of our chronic illnesses

Obesity and overweighs are described as an abnormal or excessive build-up of fat that poses a health risk. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a technique that determines whether a person is overweight or underweight by multiplying their weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. A high BMI can suggest a significant amount of body fat.

Classification of Obesity: Obesity is classified depending on the location of body fat distribution. According to the global burden of illness, 4 million people die per year as a result of being overweight or obese (2017)



 BMI (Kg/m2)

  Under weight



 18.5 -24.9

  Over weight



  Class I


 Class II



  Class III


Source: WHO (World Health Organization)

Obese people are more likely to acquire a variety of potentially serious health issues, such as:

  1. Diabetes Mellitus: Obesity is the leading cause of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). According to ecological studies, cross-sectional research reveals that diabetic individuals have a higher relative weight.
  2. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD): Overweight men have a 49 percent higher chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than men who are "optimal" weight. Obesity has been associated with higher blood pressure, lipids, and glucose, which are all CVD risk factors. According to the American Cancer Society, self-reported relative weight has a direct link to death from CVD

Endocrine Disorders Obesity has been associated with male impotence and oligospermia (low sperm count) and amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation) and reduced fertility in females. In these women, adipose tissue is the primary source of estrogen, and exogenous estrogens have increased cancer risk.


According to a study conducted by the American Cancer Society, overweight people have a higher risk of dying from cancer. While the link between Obesity and cancer was linear in women, skinny males had a higher risk of cancer death. Colon/rectum and prostate cancers were the most highly linked to Obesity in males, whereas endometrial, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, and breast cancers were the most significantly linked to obesity in women.

  1. Sleep apnea: Obese people are more prone to suffer from sleep apnea, a potentially fatal condition where breathing stops and frequently begins throughout sleep.
  2. Osteoarthritis: Obesity puts more strain on weight-bearing joints while also causing inflammation in the body, leading to complications like osteoarthritis.

Causes: There has been a rise in energy-dense foods high in fat and free sugar intake. As a result of a variety of professions and increasing urbanization, physical activity has been reduced. Obesity is caused by a discrepancy between calories consumed and calories burned.

How to treat Obesity

Reduce the number of calories taken from fats and sweets, increase the part of daily intake of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts, and engage in regular physical exercise to reduce the risk of overweight and Obesity (60 minutes per day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults). Exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 6 months of age has been proven in studies to lower the likelihood of a newborn becoming overweight or obese.

Reference: H Ahmed et al., (1989) Health risk of Obesity (Journal: Medical clinics of North America)

Bhagyashree Hatti
M. Tech (Food Technology)
Quality Assurance and 

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