Overweight vs. Obesity

Common Questions about Overweight and Obesity

By: Saritha Regulapati, MD – Board Certified in Internal Medicine & USCIS Designated Civil Surgeon, Attending Physician – University Medical Center at Princeton

Are you underweight? Are you overweight? Are you obese?

Read the article and find the answers to your questions.

What is the difference between being overweight or obese?

One way to determine if you are overweight or obese is based on your BMI (body mass index) value. BMI provides a measure of total body fat based on your height and weight. If your BMI is between 25.0 and 29.9 you are considered as overweight, and if your BMI is 30.0 or over you are considered as obese. BMI of 30.0 – 34.9 is considered as mild obesity, BMI of 35.0 – 39.9 is considered as moderate obesity and BMI of 40.0 or over is considered as extreme or morbid obesity.

What is the normal BMI range and a healthy weight?

Weight associated with a BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 is considered as a normal range and a healthy weight. BMI of less than 18.5 is classified as underweight.

What are the causes of overweight / obesity?

Most often, overweight or obesity results when one’s energy intake exceeds energy expenditure over an extended period of time, i.e., overeating and less physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise. Some other factors include hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, corticosteroid drugs, and psychological problems. Individual variation in body fat may result due to complex interplay of genetic, nutritional, psychological, environmental, and social factors.

What are the health risks associated with overweight and obesity?

Since organs and joints suffer extra strain due to extra weight and body fat, those who are overweight or obese have a greater probability of developing Type 2 diabetes, gallstones and gallbladder disease, hypertension and coronary heart disease, hyperlipidemia, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, bladder control problems, menstrual irregularities, pregnancy complications, infertility, and premature death. Also, overweight and obesity may increase the risk of certain cancers like endometrial, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and postmenopausal breast cancer. Obesity may also lead to psychological problems such as eating disorders, low self esteem, and depression.

What types of procedures or treatment options are available to treat overweight and obesity?

Apart from weight, height, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, other tests are performed based on each person health conditions to determine the best treatment plan. Based on the person’s overweight / obesity and the health conditions, the following treatment options are available to treat overweight and obesity:
– Diet, physical activity and behavior change.
– Pharmacotherapy
– Surgery

What is recommended to achieve and maintain a healthy weight?

If you are overweight or obese, consult your doctor and setup a weight management plan with a long-term goal and stay fully committed to the plan until you achieve your healthy weight target. Once you attain your healthy weight target, stick to your healthy lifestyle, routine physical examinations, and consult your doctor if there are any variations in your weight. Avoid high dense fat foods from your diet and incorporate physical activity in your daily routine. Remember that healthy weight is critical for a healthy life and that you are in control.

Feel free to call Dr. Saritha Regulapati at 732-274-2557 or by email at sregulapati@doctorsaritha.com if you have any weight related issues.

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