Obesity

Alternative Names

Morbid obesity; Fat – obese

Definition of Obesity

Obesity is a term used to describe body weight that is much greater than what is healthy. If you are obese, you also have a much higher amount of body fat than is healthy or desirable.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Taking in more calories than you burn leads to being overweight and, eventually, obesity. The body stores unused calories as fat. Obesity can be the result of:

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history, eating habits, and exercise routine.

Treatment

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are crucial when it comes to controlling your weight. Although there are many programs advertised to help you lose weight, the only method proven safe over the long-term is to burn more calories than you consume.

Review

A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. – 10/12/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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