Obesity

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Obesity facts

  • Obesity means having excess body fat. For adults 35 and older, having a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese.
  • Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration. It is a chronic medical disease that can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gallstones, and other chronic illnesses.
  • Obesity is difficult to treat and has a high relapse rate. Greater than 95% of those who lose weight regain the weight within five years.
  • Even though medications and diets can help, the treatment of obesity cannot be a short-term "fix" but has to be a life-long commitment to proper diet habits, increased physical activity, and regular exercise.
  • The goal of treatment should be to achieve and maintain a "healthier weight," not necessarily an ideal weight.
  • Even a modest weight loss of 5%-10% of initial weight and the long-term maintenance of that weight loss can bring significant health benefits by lowering blood pressure and lowering the risks of diabetes and heart disease.
  • The chances of long-term successful weight loss are enhanced if the doctor works with a team of professionals, including dietitians, psychologists, and exercise professionals.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2012

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Obesity - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your obesity?
Obesity - Are You Obese? Question: Many adults and children are considered obese. Please share your personal experience with being overweight and obese.
Obesity - Surgery Experience Question: Did you or someone you know have surgery to treat obesity? Please describe what the experience was like.

Childhood Obesity

What are the risks of childhood obesity?

Type 2 diabetes, previously found almost entirely in adulthood and thought to be unusual in children, now accounts for up to 44% of newly diagnosed cases of diabetes in childhood, paralleling the increase in the prevalence of obesity.

High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, especially elevated "bad" LDL and triglycerides, are much more common in obese children.


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