Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.
A crude population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in metres).
A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight.
More than 30,000 lives are being lost each year because of weight-related diseases. The problem was affecting children as young as 13.
“The cost of obesity to the Health Service is estimated to be 500million a year. “Most alarmingly, over a third of children are overweight or obese and there are increases in cases of Type II diabetes in children.”
This version of the disorder is normally seen in overweight, middle-aged people.
Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.