What is the Meaning of Obesity?

A chronic, relapsing, multi-factorial, neurobehavioral disease, when there is an increase in body fat regulates the dysfunction of adipose tissue and abnormal fat, that results in adverse effects on the health which includes metabolic, biomechanical, and psychosocial consequences, the above mentioned is the obesity medical definition. 

In 1998, the National Institutes of Health declared obesity a disease. In simple words, the meaning of obesity is as follows “Overweight”. Let us learn what causes obesity, what are the medical complications and how to prevent it?

Short Note on Obesity

Obesity is identified when the body mass index (BMI) is equal to 30 or greater than that. The body mass index can be calculated easily by dividing the body weight by squaring the height. But the BMI alone cannot estimate body fat but it is considered as one of the factors.

Obesity meaning is as follows, it is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that will increase the risk of getting affected with other diseases such as heart attack, diabetes, and certain cancers. Usually, obesity is caused by a combination of inherited factors, that are combined with the environment and exercise choices and personal diet.


Although there are genetic, behavioural, metabolic, and hormonal influences on weight, obesity occurs once you absorb more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat. People might eat more calories before feeling full, feel hungry sooner, or eat more during stress or anxiety.

Risk Factors:

1. Family Inheritance and Influences: The genes that we get from our parents may affect the amount of fat stored in our body, and where that fat is distributed. Obesity tends to run in families which are not just because of the genes they share but because of similar eating and activity habits.

2. Lifestyle Choices: A diet that's high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, filled with nutriment and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain. Liquid calories such as alcohol, soft drinks, high-calorie beverages etc. If a person has a sedentary lifestyle, he can easily take in more calories every day than he burns through exercise and routine daily activities. Looking at a computer, tablet, and phone screens may be a sedentary activity. The number of hours a person spends in front of a screen is highly associated with weight gain.

3. Age: Obesity can occur at any age, even in young children and as a person ages, hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle increases the risk of obesity. In addition, the quantity of muscle in your body tends to decrease with age. The lower muscle mass can result in a decrease in metabolism. These changes also reduce calorie needs and may make it harder to stay off excess weight.

4. Other Factors:

  • Pregnancy: Weight gain is common during pregnancy hence the women find it difficult to lose weight after the baby is born. This weight gain may contribute to the event of obesity in women. Breast-feeding could also be the simplest choice to lose the load gained during pregnancy.

  • Quitting smoking: When people quit smoking, they will consume more food to fulfil the cravings that in turn results in weight gain. At the end of the day, however, quitting smoking remains a greater benefit to your health than is constant smoke. Your doctor can assist you to prevent weight gain after quitting smoking.

  • Sleep: Not having enough sleep or sleeping for too much time can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite.

  • Stress: Many external factors that affect your mental health and well-being may contribute to obesity. When people are in stressful situations, they often consume high-calorie food.


People with obesity are more likely to develop a variety of probably serious health problems, including:

  1. Heart Disease and Strokes: Obesity causes you to more likely to possess high vital signs and abnormal cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart condition and strokes.

  2. Type 2 Diabetes: Our body uses insulin to regulate blood glucose levels which can affect obesity. It raises the risk of resistance to insulin and diabetes.

  3. Digestive Problems: Obesity increases the likelihood that you're going to develop heartburn, gallbladder disease and liver problems.

  4. Gynaecological and Sexual Problems: Obesity can also cause infertility and irregular periods in women. Obesity also can cause erectile dysfunction in men.

  5. Osteoarthritis: Obesity increases the strain placed on weight-bearing joints, additionally promoting inflammation within the body. These factors may cause complications like osteoarthritis.

  6. Severe COVID-19 Symptoms: Obesity increases the danger of developing severe symptoms if you become infected with the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). People who have severe cases of COVID-19 may require treatment in medical care units or maybe mechanical assistance to breathe.


As per the obesity definition, overweight is caused due to overeating. By following certain steps, we can control being overweight. They are as follows daily exercise, a healthy diet, and a long-term commitment to watch what you eat and drink.

  1. Exercise Regularly: You need to urge 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week to stop weight gain. The physical activities include walking fastly and swimming.

  2. Follow a Healthy-Eating Plan: specialise in low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid saturated fat and limit sweets and alcohol. Eat three regular meals in a day with limited snacking, during this you can enjoy the high-calorie desserts or beverages in small quantities.

  3. Avoid the Traps that Cause You to Eat: Identify situations that trigger out-of-control eating. You can plan and develop strategies for handling these sorts of situations that will make you eat more and stay on top of things of your eating behaviours.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Meaning of Obesity? What are the Causes of Obesity?

Ans: Obesity meaning is given as it is a complex disease that involves an excessive amount of body fat.

The causes of obesity are as follows:

  • Genetics

  • Junk foods

  • Food addiction

  • Hormonal imbalance

2. What is Meant By Obesity? Write Down the Obesity Definition in Biology.

Ans:  Obesity definition is as follows, it is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. 

According to Biology, obesity can be defined as a state of excess mass of adipose tissue in the body.

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