Obesity is defined medically as the amount of fat that a person has in their body. A person can weigh more than the “standard” weight but still be considered healthy. Some people weigh more than others because they have edema which is swelling and water retention in the body. Some others are muscular and since muscle is denser than fat, they appear to be large but they are not necessarily overweight.
In past years people were thought to be obese if they weighed more than 20% over what their ideal weight is. Now weight tables have been replaced by BMI (body mass index) numbers. This takes your height and weight and calculates a number that is a close representation of the percent of your body that is fat. It is not a perfect science. It is calculated by dividing the weight (in kilograms) by the height in meters squared, or you can multiply the weight by 705 and divide by height in inches.
Due to recent research obesity is now considered to be a chronic disease. Dieting every now and then will not do enough to cure the problem. The obese person needs to make a permanent life change in order to become and stay healthy.
Some of the risks of obesity are stroke, diabetes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. All of these risks can be deadly. These risks are also more prevalent if the person has high cholesterol which many obese people do.
When you are obese you can tend to have breathing problems such as sleep apnea. Larger women also have an increased risk of uterine and breast cancer or bladder cancer. Men and women alike who are obese have a higher risk of colorectal cancer.
Stress on the joints is another problem when you are obese because all of that extra weight puts extra pressure on the joints. Due to this fact obese people are more likely to develop arthritis. This appears especially in the back, hips, and knees.