How Different Is Obesity From Overweight

When people start noticing that they are putting on a few pounds, it is hard to tell at the time whether they see themselves becoming overweight or if they will end up suffering from obesity. While many may think that being overweight and obese are the same, that’s not really correct.

Obesity is a disorder that involves the accumulation of excessive body fat and increases the risk of several health problems. Overweight, however, means having a weight more than normal or desirable.

Read: Chances Of Obesity Greater In US Women Than Men Because They Walk Less, Study Says

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2009 and 2010, more than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese. More than one in every three adults suffer from obesity, while more than one in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity. Among children and adolescents, about one-third of those aged between 6 and 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.

Obesity can be caused by consuming more calories than your body burns. The body stores unused calories as fat, leading to obesity. A person is believed to be overweight when his/her level of body fat based on height and weight is more than what it should normally be.

Excessive eating, drinking too much alcohol and not getting enough exercise can result in storing excess calories in one’s body, which turns into excess fat, resulting in obesity.

Junk food is one of the leading causes of obesity. In this photo, a man eats a hamburger and chips in a cafe in Glasgow, Scotland, June 7, 2006. Photo: Getty Images/Jeff J Mitchell

Eating habits are not the only factors that contribute to excess weight gain, medical problems such as an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or taking medication like birth control pills, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, could also be a cause.

“Energy balance in children happens when the amount of energy taken in from food or drink and the energy being used by the body support natural growth without promoting excess weight gain. Many factors can lead to energy imbalance and weight gain. They include genes, eating habits, how and where people live, attitudes and emotions, life habits, and income,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is usually used to determine excess body weight. A person is considered obese when BMI is over 30, while BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates overweight. BMI between 18.5 and 24.9…

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