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Prevea Health

Causes of obesity


Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death. More than 280,000 deaths annually are attributed to obesity. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates to a point that negatively affects your health. Obesity can lead to reduced life expectancy and increased health problems. Obesity is caused by a number of factors including:
  • Inactivity
  • Environment
  • Genes
  • Family history
  • Health conditions
  • Medications
  • Emotional factors
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor diet choices

How do you know if you are considered obese? Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on a person’s height and weight. Find your BMI. The ideal BMI ranges from 19 to 25. If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you are thought to be overweight. If it is between 30 and 39.9, you are obese. If your BMI is 40 or more, you are said to have morbid obesity.

The term “morbid” obesity is used because this degree of excess weight may considerably reduce life expectancy and is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions or diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, gallstones, stroke, heart disease and psychosocial problems.

If you find you are obese or morbidly obese, there are several things you can do to reduce your BMI. Diet and exercise are simple ways you can start to reduce your BMI. Start small. Making small changes over time will help you be more successful in sticking to them than trying to do too much at once. Also, severely and morbidly obese patients are considered candidates for bariatric surgery. If you think bariatric surgery is something you would like to learn more about, you can schedule an appointment with a Prevea bariatric surgeon, attend one of our free bariatric surgery seminars or attend a bariatric surgery support group to learn more.

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