Obese people often struggle with their bodies, feel uncomfortable and ashamed of their bodies. Too little exercise and poor nutrition are primary causes of obesity, a widespread problem in modern industrialized nations. Consequential diseases such as cardiovascular problems, strokes, type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis are possible. Measures that can be taken to correct an incorrect lifestyle include more sport and exercise, less fat and alcohol, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep.
As long as one’s weight does not deviate significantly from normal, there is hardly any need for weight reduction from a medical point of view. However, if excess weight leads to health problems, medical advice should be sought to find the cause. Click here to listen
To diagnose obesity, doctors consult the abdominal or waist circumference. It is measured approximately halfway between the lower ribcage and the upper edge of the hip bone. In men, an abdominal circumference of more than 94 cm is considered high-risk obesity. In women, the risk of secondary diseases is increased from an abdominal girth of 80 cm. In addition, the ratio of abdominal to hip circumference is used (“waist-to-hip ratio”).
Lifestyle, certain pre-existing conditions and diet are important factors. However, obesity can also be the result of a metabolic disease (disorder of sugar or fat metabolismen). In rare cases, critical overweight has hormonal causes, for example due to an underactive thyroid gland or an overactive adrenal cortex. Tumors, trauma, surgery or radiation to the hypothalamus can also trigger obesity.