Body Mass Index (BMI) = weight (kg) / height2 (m2)
BMI <18.5 Below normal weight
BMI >= 18.5 – 24.9 Normal weight
BMI >= 25 – 29.9 Overweight
BMI >30 Obesity
30- 34.9 Class 1 Obesity
35- 39.9 Class 2 Obesity
40 and above Class 3 Obesity (Morbid Obesity)
BMI > 50 Super Obesity
A fat cell is an endocrine cell, in other words, a hormonal system cell, and a fat tissue is an endocrine organ. This tissue releases several substances that affect the body. An increase in fat tissues, or obesity, increases the amount of fat acids in circulation, as well as inflammatory reactions. This causes insulin resistance, which forms the basis for diabetes.
Nutrition is a quite complex process, which involves smell, taste and temperature of the food, cognitive and emotional stimulations, and metabolic mechanisms, which send signals to the brain to start and stop eating. In recent years, some substances which give signals to the brain to eat more have been discovered.
Due to malnutrition and changing lifestyle habits, the obesity rates increased rapidly all over the world after 1960s, and the efforts to stop the increase are still falling short today. In most of developed countries, the rate of overweight is stated as more than 50%. In other words, one in two people are either overweight or obese. The situation is even worse in the US. 69% of the population is above normal weight, which means that two people out of three are at the risk of this disease, obesity. When the food distribution is considered, the burden of the disease is quite heavy globally.
It would not be wrong to say that obesity is a disease since various hormones, including hunger hormones, and mechanisms are in play regarding the problem. According to American statistics, more than 112 000 obesity-related deaths happen per year. The big picture of obesity lays the foundation for more than 30 chronic diseases, which are type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, gallstones, cardiovascular diseases, fatty liver syndrome, sleep apnea, acid reflux, urinary incontinence, coronary failure, joint diseases, asthma and other respiratory diseases, birth defects, and even several kinds of cancer.
Sadly, overweight patients frequently face with discrimination and bullying. Obesity must be admitted as a disease and the negative perceptions among the public should be corrected.
Unfortunately, the main reason of this situation is excessive food or calorie intake. Consumption of fast food, which includes too much fat and calories, and sodas is very popular among children, which causes concern for the future. Also, carbohydrate-based nutrition, and products imposed by the industry, such as fructose syrup, threaten especially younger people.
What are the treatment options?
Some professional weight-loss programs use low-calorie diets, methods to increase physical activity and behaviour change techniques. However, lifestyle changes alone are not efficient and lasting enough.
The medication used for weight loss does not have an important role as a medical cure for obesity in the long run. The medication, which curbs appetite, may help lose weight, however, it was observed that most patients who applied weight loss programs without surgical intervention regained the weight lost within 5 years.