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Overweight and obesity

Published on May 10, 2024 at 8:00 / Updated on May 25, 2024 at 8:00

Obesity is defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat in the body. They are mainly the result of an imbalance between energy consumption from food and energy expenditure (physical activity). Other factors such as heredity, taking certain medications, hormonal factors, stopping smoking, stress, aging and pregnancy are all examples of factors that can also trigger weight gain.

To determine the risk of developing a health problem associated with excess weight, we use, among other things, the body mass index (BMI). BMI is a weight-to-height ratio. Overweight is defined as BMI equal to or greater than 25, and obesity as BMI equal to or greater than 30. The BMI is not suitable for children. It is wiser to rely on growth curves according to age.

BMI Formula : Weight (kg) / Height2 (m2)

Another important factor to consider when overweight or obese is the distribution of fat throughout the body. Belly fat is a risk factor in the development of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and liver disease. The waist circumference is used to assess health risk. Consult your health care professional to find out how to properly measure and evaluate your waist circumference.

Being overweight and obese leads to physical, psychological and social problems. Firstly, being overweight causes or increases one's risk of suffering from various health problems such as:

  • osteoarthritis (knees, hips)
  • sleep apnoea
  • reduced life expectancy
  • diabetes
  • breathing problems
  • increased risk of certain cancers
  • hypertension
  • liver diseases
  • cardiovascular diseases


Obesity is a complex, chronic disease. It's not just about losing weight. The goal of obesity management is to improve a person's overall health. There are a number of treatment options available, so don't hesitate to consult your healthcare professionals to find out which ones are right for you.

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