Obesity is a medical condition characterized by the excessive accumulation of body fat to the extent that it may have a negative impact on health. It is typically assessed using body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters (BMI = kg/m²). Generally, a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

Obesity can result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. These may include:

  1. Diet: Consuming high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages, as well as overeating, can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
  2. Physical inactivity: Sedentary lifestyles with little or no regular physical activity can lead to weight gain and obesity.
  3. Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to obesity, making it more difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Socioeconomic factors: Access to affordable healthy foods, safe recreational spaces, and opportunities for physical activity can influence obesity rates.
  5. Psychological factors: Stress, depression, and other mental health issues can contribute to weight gain and obesity through emotional eating and other behaviors.

Obesity is associated with numerous health risks and complications, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. It can also affect quality of life and reduce life expectancy.

Treatment and management of obesity typically involve a combination of dietary changes, increased physical activity, behavior modification, and sometimes medication or surgery in severe cases. Prevention efforts focus on promoting healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and creating environments that support healthy lifestyles for individuals and communities.

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