Obesity is a condition that is associated with having an excess of body fat, defined by genetic and environmental factors that are difficult to control when dieting. Obesity is classified as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is a tool used to measure obesity. Obesity increases your risk of developing related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea, to name a few. Many individuals are affected by obesity and are not aware of it.
The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight. You may need to work with a team of health professionals — including a dietitian, behavior therapist or an obesity specialist — to help you understand and make changes in your eating and activity habits.
You can start feeling better and seeing improvements in your health by just introducing better eating and activity habits. The initial goal is a modest weight loss — 3 to 5 percent of your total weight. That means that if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kg) and are obese by BMI standards, you would need to lose only about 6 to 10 pounds (2.7 to 4.5 kg) for your health to begin to improve. However, the more weight you lose, the greater the benefits.
All weight-loss programs require changes in your eating habits and increased physical activity. The treatment methods that are right for you depend on your level of obesity, your overall health and your willingness to participate in your weight-loss plan.
Other treatment tools include:
- Dietary changes
- Exercise and activity
- Behavior change
- Prescription weight-loss medications
- Weight-loss surgery