Is obesity a disease?
Many experts recognise obesity as a disease. Learn more about the
obesity as a disease and what it means for people living with obesity.
Obesity is a disease that develops when there's an excess amount of body fat. It's a chronic disease, or a long-lasting condition. Chronic diseases require ongoing medication attention or limit activities and daily living, or both. Obesity is linked to other chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and many more. Obesity is actually linked to more than 200 comorbidities. It's also a serious condition (with its own symptoms, complications, and causes) on its own.
To find out if you're living with obesity and to get a formal obesity diagnosis, it's important to talk to your doctor. One simple way to screen for obesity is to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI).
The Body Mass Index (BMI) classifies underweight, overweight, and obesity in adults based on their height and weight. Here you can see the different BMI classes for who is considered a person with obesity.
|BMI Classification||Underweight — Below 18.5 kg/m²|
|Normal — 18.5–24.9 kg/m²|
|Overweight — 25.0–29.9 kg/m²|
|Obesity Class I — 30.0-34.9 kg/m²|
|Obesity Class II — 35.0–39.9 kg/m²|
|Obesity Class III — Above 40 kg/m²|
Having an excess amount of fat on the body is the most obvious symptom of obesity. But, there are also other symptoms you may experience if you're living with obesity. These can include:
If these symptoms sound familiar, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor. Understanding obesity and your own situation will be helpful when you explore what you can do to help you manage weight and keep it off.
See how losing 13% of your body weight can lower your risk of developing certain obesity-related complications.
Talk to your weight management provider about treatment options that could prevent the weight you lose from coming back.