What is Obesity?

Medical Counseling

Obesity is a systemic disease that is characterized by an increase in body fat. This is related to a risk of having other diseases, which may lead to premature death.

The definition of obesity may vary according to the population that is being evaluated. For instance, in the Asian population a person who has a BMI greater than 23 Kg/m2 is classified as overweight and if the BMI is between 25 and 27 Kg/m2 he/she is considered obese.

Statistics from the United States of America show that 23 million people suffer from morbid obesity and nearly 8 million have a BMI greater than 40 Kg/m2.

Not only is the prevalence of obesity a concern, but also the fact that this condition has duplicated in the last 25 years. Between 1976 and 1994 the prevalence of obesity in men and women had an increase of 14.5% - 22.5%, and during the same period the prevalence of overweight and obesity together had and increase of 32% - 55%.

Based on person`s Body Mass Index (BMI), a person`s weight status may be classified as follows:

Weight Status
Below 18.5 Kg/m2
18.5 – 24.9 Kg/m2
25.0 – 29.9 Kg/m2
30.0 – 34.9 Kg/m2
35.0 – 39.9 Kg/m2
Severely Obese
40.0 Kg/m2 or more
Morbidly Obese