People who weigh twenty percent more than their required weight are called obese. Obesity is defined as that condition in which the excess fat gets accumulated within the body. Obesity usually occurs when the intake of calories through food is more than its expenditure. Though not considered as a disease by itself, obesity makes the body prone to many major diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart and gall bladder disorders etc.
In order to know whether a person is obese or not, one should know his or her ideal weight. The desirable body weight even for people of the same age group might be different. It is based on a person’s height that his ideal weight is measured. Scientifically, obesity is calculated in terms of body mass index. Body Mass Index (BMI) will be obtained by dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of his height in metres. BMI below twenty is underweight whereas between twenty and twenty five is acceptable. Overweight people are those with BMI between twenty-five and thirty. Those whose BMI falls between thirty and forty are considered to be obese. Over forty is the extremely obese group.
The causes of obesity can range from genetic disorders to depression. Genetic disorders cause obesity, as in some people genes tend to store fat. Eating habits also contribute to obesity. Snacking between meals, consuming food in a hurry, eating more than required food are all some of the wrong food habits that might make a person obese. People who give less importance to physical exercises are also prone to obesity. Damage to hypothalamus may also lead to obesity as it has lost its ability to regulate appetite. Depression is yet another cause. Depressed people in some cases tend to overeat and thereby become obese. Though obesity is likely to happen to people of all age groups, middle-aged people are the most affected lot. This is because, during this period physical activity generally gets decreased whereas food consumption increases.