Obesity is abnormally high proportion of body fat.* Causes
A person becomes obese when calorie intake is always greater than the number of calories burned through activity and basic metabolic processes.
Factors that can influence obesity are:
Risk factors include:
Complications of Untreated Obesity
Your doctor can determine if you are obese by looking at your body and assessing the percentage of body fat.
Methods of assessing body fat:
Obesity is difficult to treat. Things that affect treatment are:
Approaches to weight loss include:Food Diary
Keep track of everything you eat and drink.Physical Activity and Exercise
Ask your doctor about how to begin an exercise program right for you. Limit the amount of time you spend watching television and using the computer. This is especially important for children.Calorie Intake
Your doctor or a dietitian can determine what your total calorie intake should be. This is based on:
Portion size is also an important determinant of calorie intake. If you are obese and also have type 2 diabetes , using special portion-control plates may help you succeed in losing weight and reducing diabetes medications. *¹Diet
Your doctor may recommend that you reduce saturated and trans fats , as well as limit the amount of refined carbohydrates that you eat. Keep fat intake under 35% of total calories eaten daily.
Behavior therapy may help you understand:
Research on the effectiveness of weight-loss programs is limited. They do seem to work for some people, however.Team Up With a Partner
Some studies suggest that a partner or group may help you improve your diet and fitness.Medications
Medications for weight loss are available. Medications include:
Some medications have led to serious complications. Do not use over-the-counter or herbal remedies for weight loss unless your doctor monitors you for side effects. Your doctor can make recommendations about prescription weight-loss drugs.Bariatric Surgery
Surgical procedures reduce the size of the stomach and rearrange the digestive tract. The smaller stomach can only hold a tiny portion of food at a time. Operations include gastric bypass and laparoscopic gastric banding. These procedures are only an option for people who are dangerously overweight, due to the potential for serious complications.Gastric Bypass
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Preventing obesity can be difficult because so many factors influence your weight. General recommendations include:
Last reviewed December 2007 by Jill Landis, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.