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Health Complications of Obesity: It’s Not Just Fat Accumulation

Health Complications of Obesity

Obesity is an excessive or abnormal accumulation of fat in the body that harms one’s health. Nowadays, obesity is one of the common health problems all over the world.

The percentage of obesity in Saudi Arabia is approximately equal to 36.9%, and the percentage of overweight is 35.5%!

An imbalance between the calories that enter the body and the calories it burns is the main cause of overweight and obesity.


Obesity Classifications

One of the best ways to classify obesity is the body mass index (BMI), which is an indicator that measures weight compared to height and thus reflects the amount of body fat.

BMI is calculated with simple math where a person’s weight in kilograms is divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

Body mass index (BMI) and its significance:



Your weight is less than normal.Less than 18.5
Your weight is normal.18.5-24.9
You’re overweight25-29.9
obesity (Class 1)30-34.9
obesity (Class 2)35-39.9
Morbidly obese (Class 3)40 and above


Causes of obesity

Eating more calories than you burn in daily activity for a long time can lead to obesity; Over time, these extra calories accumulate in the body as fat and cause weight gain.

But it’s not always just about calories taken in and calories out, or lack of movement. Of course, excess calories are the most important causes of obesity, but there are some reasons you can’t control and these reasons include:

  1. Genetics and family history: These can affect how your body processes food, turns it into energy, and how it stores fat.
  2. Ageing: It can lead to a decrease in muscle mass, making it easier to gain weight.
  3. Not getting enough sleep: leads to hormonal changes that make you feel more hungry and crave certain high-calorie foods.
  4. Pregnancy: It can be difficult to lose weight gained during pregnancy and may eventually lead to obesity.
  5. Taking certain medications, such as antidepressants, some diabetes medications, some epilepsy medications and some contraceptives.
  6. Diseases that cause obesity, including:
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Cushing’s syndrome.
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
  • Arthritis.
  • Prader-Willi syndrome.


Health Complications of Obesity

Obesity is more complex than we imagine, it is not just an increase in weight as a result of the accumulation of fat under the skin.

Obesity is associated with a number of health complications, some of which can be life-threatening if not treated. These complications include:

  • Diabetes Mellitus type 2
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Some types of cancer, such as breast, colon and uterine cancer
  • Brain Stroke.
  • Gallbladder diseases
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Sleep apnea and other breathing problems
  • Arthritis
  • Infertility

It is not a requirement when you are obese that you have all these diseases, but being obese increases the risk of these diseases compared to healthy people.


General tips for weight loss

Studies have shown that only 20% of obese patients are able to treat and remove 6 kg of their weight and maintain their new weight for two years. Here are some general tips to reduce weight:

  • Excessive intake of natural, unprocessed food
  • Limit consumption of fat, sugar and alcohol
  • Eat foods rich in fibres.
  • Doing exercise.
  • Consult a qualified nutritionist before taking any type of medication for weight loss.
  • Try to stay away from bariatric surgery as much as possible.


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