Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health. It is defined by body mass index (BMI) and further evaluated in terms of fat distribution via the waist–hip ratio and total cardiovascular risk factors. BMI is closely related to both percentage body fat and total body fat.
(BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height, is over 30 kg/m2, with the range 25–30 kg/m2 defined as overweight.
Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. A few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications, or mental disorder. The view that obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is not generally supported. On average, obese people have a greater energy expenditure than their normal counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.
Obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide. A number of reviews have found that mortality risk is lowest at a BMI of 20–25 kg/m in non-smokers and at 24–27 kg/m2 in current smokers, with risk increasing along with changes in either direction. This appears to apply in at least four continents. In contrast, a 2013 review found that grade 1 obesity (BMI 30-35) was not associated with higher mortality than normal weight, and that overweight (BMI 25-30) was associated with “lower” mortality than was normal weight (BMI 18.5-25).Other evidence suggests that the association of BMI and waist circumference with mortality is U- or J-shaped, while the association between waist-to-hip ratio and waist-to-height ratio with mortality is more positive.
In Asians the risk of negative health effects begins to increase between 22–25 kg/m2. A BMI above 32 kg/m2 has been associated with a doubled mortality rate among women over a 16-year period. In the United States, obesity is estimated to cause 111,909 to 365,000 deaths per year, while 1 million (7.7%) of deaths in Europe are attributed to excess weight. On average, obesity reduces life expectancy by six to seven years, a BMI of 30–35 kg/m2 reduces life expectancy by two to four years, while severe obesity (BMI > 40 kg/m2) reduces life expectancy by ten years.