Obesity in adults at a glance
Obesity is a chronic disease increasingly affecting more adults, adolescents, and children globally and is currently considered a global epidemic. The health consequences associated with being overweight or having obesity were known more than 2000 years ago. This article will summarize the assessment of overweight and obesity and their health consequences.
In a nutshell, overweight refers to a weight above the "normal" range, with normal defined based on actuarial data. This is determined by calculating the body mass index (BMI, defined as the weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared).
BMI = body weight (in kg) ÷ height (in meters) squared
Interpretation of findings:
Underweight – <18.5 kg/m2
Normal weight – ≥18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2
Overweight – ≥25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2
Obesity – ≥30 kg/m2
Class I – 30.0 to 34.9 kg/m2
Class II – 35.0 to 39.9 kg/m2
Class III – ≥40 kg/m2
(These classes of obesity are also referred to as severe, extreme, or massive obesity)
In addition to measuring BMI, we suggest measuring waist circumference. A waist circumference of ≥40 in (102 cm) for males and ≥35 in (88 cm) for females is considered elevated and indicative of an increased risk of heart and metabolic diseases.
Who is affected?
In the last 40 years, the number of people with obesity has doubled in more than 70 countries and has continued to increase in most other countries, affecting more males than females. It was estimated that in 2015, roughly 604 million adults had obesity worldwide, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which restricted outdoor physical activities for many people, this estimation is expected to have increased.
Obesity is associated with a significant increase in the risk of diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, lipid disorders, heart disease, stroke, sleep disorders, liver diseases, and cancer, as well as death. On the contrary, weight loss is associated with significantly reduced sickness.
Screening and treatment:
Without screening, many high-risk patients may not receive counseling about health risks, lifestyle changes, obesity treatment options, and risk factor reduction.
For the doctor to help an individual with unknown weight status, the following steps are taken:
The first step is to determine the degree of overweight (BMI) and the presence of abdominal obesity (using the waist circumference).
Secondly, Suppose the BMI is in the overweight or obesity range. In that case, the doctor proceeds with risk assessment and treatment of available comorbidities such as heart disease, sleep disorders, liver diseases, joint problems, and diabetes, which are largely associated with elevated body weight. The doctor further assesses your readiness for weight loss and adopting a healthy lifestyle. In case the BMI is normal, the doctor advises the patient to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating and regular physical activities, and the BMI is checked annually.
The initial management of individuals who would benefit from weight loss is a comprehensive lifestyle intervention: a combination of diet, exercise, and behavioral modification. All patients who would benefit from weight loss receive counseling on diet, exercise, and goals for weight loss. The behavioral modification component facilitates adherence to diet and exercise regimens and includes regular self-monitoring of food intake, physical activity, and weight.
Note also that health benefits are often seen as soon as obese people lose as little as 5 percent of body weight.
BYON8’s telemedicine services play a huge role in treating chronic diseases such as Obesity. The platform assigns the patient a personalized healthcare team comprising medical doctors and psychologists. BYON8 also gives the patient access to a large network of labs and imaging centers where indicated laboratory tests are done.
According to your treatment plan, the patient can check in with their healthcare team any time, 24/7, from the comfort of their home.
Until next time, stay safe and healthy.
Jensen, M. D.et al. Obesity Society (2014). 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for managing overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Circulation, 129(25 Suppl 2), S102–S138. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.cir.0000437739.71477.ee
Panuganti KK, Nguyen M, Kshirsagar RK. Obesity. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 [cited 2022 Jul 26]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459357/