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What is Obesity ?

Obesity is defined as excess adipose tissue. Obesity is a leading cause of mortality, morbidity, disability, healthcare utilization and healthcare costs in United States.

How is Obesity diagnosed ?

There are several different methods for determining excess adipose (fat) tissue; the most common being the Body Mass Index (BMI).

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a mathematical calculation involving height and weight.

[Weight (lbs) ÷ height (in)2  ] x 704.5 =BMI

The BMI cutoffs are :

Below 18.5                      Underweight
18.5-24.9                         Normal weight
24.5-29.9                        Overweight
30 and greater               Obese
40 and greater               Morbid or extreme obesity

Other measures of excess adipose tissue, such as waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and others are also used. Individuals may need to use additional factors to assess their individual risk including family history, level of physical activity, smoking and dietary habits.

Waist Circumference

Waist circumference is another widely used measurement to determine abdominal fat content. An excess of abdominal fat, when out of proportion to total body fat, is considered a predictor of risk factors related to obesity.

Men with a waist measurement exceeding 40 inches are considered at risk. Women are at risk with a waist measurement of 35 inches or greater.

Why is obesity bad for my health?

A fat cell secretes a number of products, including metabolites, cytokines, lipids, and coagulation factors among others. Significantly, excess adiposity or obesity causes increased levels of circulating fatty acids and inflammation. This can also lead to type 2 diabetes.

According to the CDC, an estimated 112,000 excess deaths per year are associated with obesity. Obesity puts individuals at risk for more than 30 chronic health conditions. They include: type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, gallstones, heart disease, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, GERD, stress incontinence, heart failure, degenerative joint disease, birth defects, miscarriages, asthma and other respiratory conditions, and numerous cancers.

What are some risk factors for Obesity?

The biology of food intake is very complex, involving smell, taste, texture, temperature, cognitive and emotional responses and autonomic information, which signal the brain to initiate or cease eating.

Recent scientific studies have identified several substances that act on the brain to signal a need for an increase in food intake. Likewise, several substances have been identified that signal the brain to decrease food intake.

How is Obesity treated?

For people with obesity, weight loss based solely on lifestyle changes can be very difficult to achieve and even more challenging to maintain.

Supporting strategies, such as obesity medications, can be important tools for effectively treating obesity in some individuals.

Dr. Sohail will help design a lifestyle modification plan based on your individual needs and goals. She will help implement your plan and monitor your progress by means of frequent measurement, charting, monitoring your labs as well as by recommending nutritional supplements to maintain your health needs.

Need to see a doctor? Make an appointment today. 714-916-0952.