Obesity occurs when a person carries an unhealthy amount of fat tissue which contributes to excessive weight gain. In the past, a person who weighed 20% or more over his or her ideal weight was considered to be obese. Body Mass Index (BMI), a measurement that uses a ratio of weight to height, is currently used by medical practitioners to screen patients for obesity. Some obese patients fall into the category of morbid obesity if they weigh more than 100 pounds their ideal weight or have a BMI greater than 40. Obesity can lead to a number of serious mental and health problems, including depression, sleep apnea, immobility, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. This condition is a complex health issue with genetics and lifestyle behaviors playing major roles in the increasing number of people who live with obesity every day. However, being obese is a temporary condition that can be reversed with a nutritional and exercise plan that includes mental health support.
Signs and symptoms of obesity include:
- Accumulation of fat, including around the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and upper arms
- Breathlessness with minimal physical activity
- Pain in joints, especially hips, knees, and back
- Generalized fatigue and tiredness
- Mental distress, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression