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Weight Issues Description

* This article is updated daily from Wikipedia. It may contain minor formatting errors.
For the original content and references, click here. Last update: 8/18/2013.

Overweight is generally defined as having more Adipose tissue|body fat than is optimally healthy. Being overweight is a common condition, especially where dietary energy supply|food supplies are plentiful and sedentary lifestyle|lifestyles are sedentary.

Excess weight has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults being either overweight or obesity|obese.* Increases have been observed across all age groups.

A healthy body requires a minimum amount of fat for the proper functioning of the hormone|hormonal, reproductive system|reproductive, and immune system|immune systems, as thermal insulation, as shock absorber|shock absorption for sensitive areas, and as Lipid|energy for future use. But the accumulation of too much storage fat can impair movement and flexibility, and can alter the body shape|appearance of the body.


The degree to which a person is overweight is generally described by body mass index (BMI). Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 or more, thus it includes pre-obesity defined as a BMI between 25 and 30 and obesity as defined by a BMI of 30 or more.* Pre obese and overweight however are often used interchangeably thus giving overweight a common definition of a BMI of between 25 -30. There are however several other common ways to measure the amount of adiposity or fat present in an individual's body.
  • Body mass index :The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of a person's weight taking into account their height. It is given by the formula: BMI equals a person's weight (mass) in kilograms divided by the square of the person's height in metres. The units therefore are kg/m2 but BMI measures are typically used and written without units.
    –BMI provides a significantly more accurate representation of body fat content than simply measuring a person's weight. It is only moderately correlated with both body fat percentage and body fat mass (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient|R2 of 0.68.)* It does not take into account certain factors such as pregnancy or bodybuilding; however, the BMI is an accurate reflection of fat percentage in the majority of the adult population.
  • Body volume index :The body volume index (BVI) was devised in 2000 as a computer, rather than manual, measurement of the human body for obesity and an alternative to the BMI
    –Body volume index uses 3D software to create an accurate 3D image of a person so BVI can differentiate between people with the same BMI rating, but who have a different shape and different weight distribution. :BVI measures where a person's weight and the fat are located on the body, rather than total weight or total fat content and places emphasis on the weight carried around the abdomen, commonly known as central obesity. There has been an acceptance in recent years that abdominal fat and weight around the abdomen constitute a greater health risk.*
  • weighing scale|Simple weighing :The person's weight is measured and compared to an estimated ideal weight. This is the easiest and most common method, but by far the least accurate, as it only measures one quantity (weight) and often does not take into account many factors such as height, body type, and relative amount of muscle mass.
  • Skinfold calipers or "pinch test" :The skin at several specific points on the body is pinched and the thickness of the resulting fold is measured. This measures the thickness of the layers of fat located under the skin, from which a general measurement of total amount of fat in the body is calculated. This method can be reasonably accurate for many people, but it does assume particular patterns for fat distribution over the body which may not apply to all individuals, and does not account for fat deposits which may not be directly under the skin. Also, as the measurement and analysis generally involves a high degree of practice and interpretation, for an accurate result it must be performed by a professional and cannot generally be done by patients themselves.
  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis :A small electrical current is passed through the body to measure its electrical resistance. As fat and muscle conduct electricity differently, this method can provide a direct measurement of the body fat percentage, in relation to muscle mass. In the past, this technique could only be performed reliably by trained professionals with specialized equipment, but it is now possible to buy home testing kits which allow people to do this themselves with a minimum of training. Despite the improved simplicity of this process over the years, however, there are a number of factors which can affect the results, including Rehydration|hydration and body temperature, so it still needs some care when taking the test to ensure that the results are accurate.
  • hydrostatic equilibrium|Hydrostatic weighing :Considered one of the more accurate methods of measuring body fat, this technique involves complete submersion of a person in water, with special equipment to measure the person's weight while submerged. This weight is then compared with "dry weight" as recorded outside the water to determine overall body density. As fat is less dense than muscle, careful application of this technique can provide a reasonably close estimate of fat content in the body. This technique does, however, require expensive specialized equipment and trained professionals to administer it properly.
  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) :Originally developed to measure bone density, DEXA imaging has also come to be used as a precise way to determine body fat content by using the density of various body tissues to identify which portions of the body are fat. This test is generally considered to be very accurate, but requires a great deal of expensive medical equipment and trained professionals to perform.

    The most common method for discussing this subject and the one used primarily by researchers and advisory institutions is BMI. Definitions of what is considered to be overweight vary by ethnicity. The current definition proposed by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) designates whites, Hispanics and blacks with a BMI of 25 or more as overweight. For Asians, overweight is a BMI between 23 and 29.9 and obesity for all groups is a BMI of 30 or more.

    BMI, however, does not account extremes of muscle mass, some rare genetics|genetic factors, the very young, and a few other individual variations. Thus it is possible for an individuals with a BMI of less than 25 to have excess body fat, while others may have a BMI that is significantly higher without falling into this category.* Some of the above methods for determining body fat are more accurate than BMI but come with added complexity.

    If an individual is overweight and has excess body fat it could, but won't always, create or lead to health risks. Reports are surfacing, however, that being mildly overweight to slightly obese – BMI being between 24 and 31.9 – may be actually beneficial and that people with BMI between 24 and 31.9 could actually live longer than normal weight or underweight persons.*

    Health-related implications

    While the negative health outcomes associated with obesity are accepted within the medical community, the health implications of the overweight category are more controversial. The generally accepted view is that being overweight causes similar health problems to obesity, but to a lesser degree. Adams et al. estimated that the risk of death increases by 20 to 40 percent among overweight people,* and the Framingham heart study found that being overweight at age 40 reduced life expectancy by three years.* A review in 2013 came to the result that being overweight significantly increases the risk of oligospermia and azoospermia in men.*Flegal et al., however, found that the mortality rate for individuals who are classified as overweight (BMI 25 to 30) may actually be lower than for those with an "ideal" weight (BMI 18.5 to 25).*Being overweight has been identified as a cause of cancer, and is projected to overtake smoking as the primary cause of cancer in developed country|developed countries as cases of cancer linked to smoking dwindle.*Psychological well-being is also at risk in the overweight individual due to social discrimination. However, children under the age of eight are normally not affected.*Being overweight does not increase mortality in older people.*

    Prevalence per country

    As much as 64% of the United States adult population is considered either overweight or obese, and this percentage has increased over the last four decades.*


    Being overweight is generally caused by the intake of more calories (by eating) than are expended by the body (by exercise and everyday living). Factors which may contribute to this imbalance include:
  • Alcoholism
  • Eating disorders (such as binge eating disorder|binge eating)
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Hormone|Hormonal imbalances (e.g. hypothyroidism)
  • Insufficient or poor-quality sleep
  • Limited physical exercise and sedentary lifestyle
  • Malnutrition|Poor nutrition
  • Metabolic disorders, which could be caused by repeated attempts to lose weight by Yo-yo dieting|weight cycling
  • Overeating
  • Psychoactive drug|Psychotropic medication (e.g. olanzapine)
  • Smoking cessation and other stimulant withdrawal
  • Stress (biology)|Stress

    People who have Diabetes mellitus type 1|insulin dependant diabetes and chronically overdose insulin may gain weight, while people who already are overweight may develop insulin tolerance, and in the long run Diabetes mellitus type 2|type II diabetes.


    Since exists a difference in the Etiology and difficulty of one's overweight condition (Or level of Obesity), and whereas in many cases, Those different levels themselves might have several Factors or arrays of factors which generates them, here is that the treatment will generally be suited for a specific person in consideration of the nature of the person's particular body Anatomy and Physiology|functioning, and will be fixated on those factors which in the meantime seems to be the primary agitator of his or her overweight.

    From the severity of the overweight problem has been estimated by the Physician or Dietitian, (What will happen after a simple Body mass index|BMI Calculation and sometimes, also some other estimations* The Clinician will address his client or patient to relevant tests to check for specific Hormonal, and other Biochemical abnormalities which are associated with being overweight (In general to relationally-severe cases); such tests will estimate, for example, the levels of Glucose, Insulin, Cholesterol, Thyroid hormones, Sex hormones, SHBG and other Proteins, Cortisol (Associated with Cushings-syndrome), Triglycerides, HCG, and at acute cases (Such as Severe or Super Obesity), also Ghrelin (The "Hunger" hormone), and Leptin (Which is sometimes called "The Satiety hormone" though satiety is associated with some other major factors which aren't necessarily hormonal or molecular).

    It is important to mention that the tests that the person will be referenced to perform are only those that Conventional medicine (Or in a broader sense, the relevant Sciences) offers at the time, that is to say, it is possible that Obesity-agitating bio-chemical deviations will take place in one's body, that a test to estimate them is yet to have been developed, or that they have yet to be discovered in theoretical research, and therefore it is possible that the person will hear from his practitioner that he is doing well by all tests, while in-vivo indeed have such a biochemical abnormalities taking place, such that the current wisdom cannot yet cure.

    There is some evidence to suggest that for merely overweight patients, the health effects of attempting to lose weight may actually be more detrimental than simply remaining overweight.*

    General treatment in cases of overweight

    With the accumulation of knowledge about it's Neuroendocrine, Gastroenterology|Gastroenterological, Nutritional, and Psychology|Psychological (Mainly Cognitive and Behavioral), and Environmental causes, Obesity, at least in its acute versions, no longer understood as a problem which solely dependent on the obese. it is now known that independent factors, Genetics|Genetic and Epigenetic alike, resembles an infrastructure of a decent number of Obesity cases, in such a way that the obese have little control whatsoever of his condition. In cases of mild Obesity, or overweight, most cases are more easily self-regulated, so that self-care is easier to instill, and in most cases efficient, if implemented correctly.

    General treatments are, a proper Diet (nutrition)|Diet, and tailored exercise program (In cases of ability), and sometimes some supplements such as Orlistat (Lipase inhibitor), Caffeine, or others, usually given by a Physician, or A Dietitian.

    In the case of extreme diets body goes into an emergency regiment and lowers its Metabolism|metabolic rate, leading to that after the diet, less calories will be utilized for energy production and more will be gathered to form fat in Adipocytes. Extreme diet usually ends by lead the person back to previous eating habits and weight, almost always in a repetitive form, a phenomenon known as the Yo-yo effect. Dietitians generally recommend eating several balanced meals which are dispersed through the day, with a combination of progressive, primarily aerobic, physical exercise. also it should be mentioned that non-overweight people have a higher chance to stay as such, because of higher levels of hormones such as Adiponectin,* which is considered to play a positive role in Fatty-acid Metabolism.

    Because these general treatments are trivial and could actually help in almost any case of Obesity, they are common in all of its levels, and resemble the most basic form of treat even in worst cases that demands more progressive medical intervention, as would described later.

    Specific causes for overweight

    Inability to make efficient aerobic exercise

    Besides Diet, Overweight (tendency to gain weight, Body mass index|BMI: 25.0 - 29.9) in allegedly healthy man could be agitated or worsen by the inability (which is treatable in most cases) to make efficient aerobic exercise. common cause for that is a Chronic (medicine)|chronic pathology or the accumulation (Or multiplicative effect) of several associated pathologies in the Lower respiratory tract or Upper respiratory tract Respiratory Tracts which aren't necessarily fatal, and causing the inability to breath efficiently from the nose at most of the day and especially on exercise, so much so that if the individual runs for more than some minutes he will feel trouble such as suffocating-like feeling in his throat, or even Lactic acidosis in his legs. little nasal airflow could be derived from pathologies as Nasal concha|Turbinate Hyperthrophy and Nasal septum deviation,* Allergy|Allergic, and Vasomotor Rhinitis, Asthma,* especially exertion Asthma, and Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm.* such pathologies are easily diagnosed at an Otolaryngologist or Pulmonologist, respectively. It is important to note that such problems themselves could induce another problem; Lactic acidosis;* in this case, one who experience relatively low intake of Oxygen (Because of problematic breathing in aerobic exercise) might won't have enough of it to promise Lactic Acid oxidation, and therefore, would have following Symptoms* such as feeling pf general or specific abnormal (Muscle) pain,* Hyperventilation,* Fatigue (medical)|Fatigue,* Weakness,* and Heart irregularities.* while doing his aerobic activity. in cases in which Inability to do efficient aerobic exercise (from the aforementioned cases for example) is the main reason for gaining wight (from Fat storage), whereas treating it could rid one from being overweight.

    It should be noted that the Upper and lower respiratory system pathologies could play a role or worsen a more severe Obesity cases.

    Metabolic or Hormonal pathology or idiopathy

    Endocrine follow-up could bring discovery of a mild hormonal problem that bases one's slight Obesity. if circumstances allow it, treatment of such conditions by Hormone replacement therapy should help.

    Some people which considered healthy by conventional standards, might have, from yet unknown reason, a metabolic pattern that let's them store little more fat then normal-weight people (Body mass index|BMI 18.5 - 24.9). the popular solution for this problem is carefully planned and sophisticated Diet and exercise program, under the supervising of a licensed Dietitian. some might acquire Cognitive and or behavioral consult from a Medical psychologist.

    Environment change

    A person who resides in a relatively distant environment from public parks, Gyms, or Emotionally Supporting and Reinforcing company for that matter, or one who resides in such an area which is problematic for Jogging, or which does not cherish public exercise, may it be from Social-Cultural, or Religious reasons, and also, someone who works in a culinary job such a Junk food restaurant (Especially as a cook); such person's overweight or obese situation could be worsen at the given conditions and therefore changing a neighborhood or a job could help.


    Some particular manifestations of Overweight, such as Lipomastia or waist or belly fat, are treated with targeted liposuction. Such a treatment is useful only in cases of overweight, and not in cases of Obesity.


    In obese people (which generally have more complicated issues), the Frequency of hormonal or metabolic failings is higher. in the relatively mild cases of Obesity, (that are still harder then regular overweight), specific Management of obesity|Obesity medication, or Hormone replacement therapy|HRT could be useful for the patients. in extreme cases Bariatric Surgery is considered. the National Institutes of Health|NIH recommends to surge only those with Body mass index|BMI above 40, or above 35.0 if they suffer from coexists serious condition such as Diabetes.* Indeed, even in progressive Obesity, many cases would demand a balanced as possible diet, alongside the medical treatment.

    Psychological help

    These suffering from Obesity, mild and severe alike, often consult psychologists (Such as Medical Psychology|Medical, and Sport psychology|Sport psychologists, and maybe others), to provide them with Psychological advice in their process, for example by the supervised learning and implementation of Cognitive and Behaviorism|behavioral techniques for utilized to reduce as much as possible the likelihood of malpractice the slimming process, and in some cases that includes other Psycho-Medical treatments as well.

    Treatment Importance

    Being overweight could bring emotional Distress (medicine)|distress, harassment, and impair the Intimacy|intimate functioning in some cases, if not the many, thus, detract some of the joy and opportunities of the individual and endanger him and mentally and physically (Albeit, not harshly as in harder form of Obesity).

    sometimes treatment of overweight could indeed be demanding, and require notable mind|mental and financial resources just for the potentially exhausting investigation for the factors causing the more or less stubborn overweight, especially when it involves bureaucratic and systematic obstacles to name a few.

    for all opinions, it is of utmost importance and a generating investment to lower Fat percentage* to a decent level, and free out of its exaggerated amount.

    Understanding the importance of treating Obesity may itself play a contributing variable to the success of the process of removing individual excessive amount of body fat and increase the chances of achieve that target.
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    * This article is updated daily from Wikipedia. It may contain minor formatting errors.
    For the original content and references, click here. Last update: 8/18/2013.

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