Overweight and BMI as a diagnostic method: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Overweight; Overweight – body mass index; Obesity – body mass index; BMI

Overweight and body mass index (BMI)

Overweight means being overweight compared to established standards, which is usually determined by body mass index (BMI). BMI is a mathematical calculation, which uses height and weight measurements to estimate body fat.

Body mass index (BMI) calculated by dividing body weight in kilograms by height in meters squared (kg/m2). For Example, If you weigh 70 kg and your height is 1,7 m, your BMI will be calculated as follows: 70 kg/(1,7 m)2 = 24,2. The standard BMI range is 18-25. If your BMI is higher 25, then it is considered, that you are overweight.

Causes of overweight and obesity

There are several causes of overweight and obesity, including:

  • Genetics. Genetics play a role in body weight regulation. People with a family history of obesity are more likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Unhealthy food. Consumption of high-calorie foods, like fast food, processed foods and sugary drinks, may contribute to weight gain.
  • Lack of physical activity. Passive lifestyle, eg, sitting at a desk for long hours, can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity.
  • Stress. Stress can lead to overeating and physical inactivity.
  • Disease. Some diseases, such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome, can cause weight gain.

Symptoms of overweight and obesity

The most obvious sign of overweight and obesity is being overweight.. However, there are other symptoms, including:

  • Breathlessness: excess weight can put pressure on the lungs, making breathing difficult.
  • Fatigue: Being overweight and obese can lead to fatigue and low energy levels.
  • Joint pain: being overweight can put extra stress on your joints, leading to pain and discomfort.
  • Sleep apnea: obesity is a common cause of sleep apnea, states, in which a person stops breathing during sleep.

When to contact a healthcare professional

If you are overweight or obese and experience these symptoms, like joint pain, shortness of breath or sleep apnea, it is important to see a doctor. Your doctor can perform a physical examination and recommend appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis of overweight and obesity

Diagnosis of overweight and obesity is based on body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated using measurements of a person's height and weight. BMI 25 and above is considered overweight, and IMT 30 and above is considered obese.

BMI is used to estimate body fat levels based on your height and weight, measured in kilograms and meters.

  • BMI from 18,5 to 24,9 is within a healthy weight range.
  • BMI from 25 to 29,9 fits in the overweight range. Because BMI measures only, how does your weight compare to healthy, it is not accurate for all people. Some people from this group, e.g. athletes, may have greater muscle mass and, Consequently, less fat. These people will not have an increased risk of health problems due to their weight..
  • BMI 30 and above corresponds to the obesity range.

There are three degrees of obesity:

  • Class 1: BMI from 30 to less 35.
  • Class 2: BMI from 35 to less 40.
  • Class 3: BMI 40 or higher. Class 3 considered "severely obese".

The risk of many medical problems is higher in adults, who have excess body fat and belong to overweight groups.

Treatment of overweight and obesity

Treatment for overweight and obesity depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases of lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and increased physical activity, may be enough for weight loss. In more severe cases, medication or bariatric surgery may be required..

Home treatment for overweight and obesity

There are several home treatments, which can help with weight loss and obesity control, including:

  • Follow a healthy diet: high fruit diet, vegetables and whole grains can help with weight loss.
  • Increasing physical activity: Regular physical activity, such as exercise, May help burn calories and promote weight loss.
  • Drinking water. Drinking water can help reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss.
  • Enough sleep: getting enough sleep is important for weight loss and overall health.

Prevention of overweight and obesity

Prevention of overweight and obesity is important for maintaining good health. There are several strategies to prevent weight gain., including:

  • Follow a healthy diet: high fruit diet, vegetables and whole grains may help prevent weight gain.
  • Increase physical activity: regular physical activity can help burn calories and prevent weight gain.
  • Portion size monitoring: pay attention to food portions.

Used sources and literature

Then JP, Larose E, Poirier P. Obesity: medical and surgical management. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Bhatt DL, Solomon SD, eds. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine.12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 30.

Jensen MD. Obesity. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 207.

Maratos-Flier E. Obesity. In: Melmed S, Auchus RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 40.

Semlitsch T, Stigler FL, Jeitler K, Horvath K, Siebenhofer A. Management of overweight and obesity in primary care – a systematic overview of international evidence-based guidelines. Obes Rev. 2019;20(9):1218-1230. PMID: 31286668 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31286668/.

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