This text provides information in simple language on the topic: Obesity.

What is Obesity?

Info body mass index:

Body mass index is the English word for: body mass index. The abbreviation for body mass index is: BMI. The BMI should show:

  • Does a person have a healthy weight?
  • Is the person underweight?
  • Or is the person overweight?

The BMI is calculated from the weight and height of a person. For people of normal weight, the BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. People with a BMI below 18.5 are underweight. People with a BMI over 24.9 are overweight.

You want to know: what is my BMI? Then you can use the BMI calculator. Would you like to determine your BMI? Then click here. Note: The link leads out of the simple language offer.

Obesity means: obesity. That means: people with obesity are very overweight. This can be seen, for example, from the body mass index.Obese people have a body mass index of 30 or more.

Obesity is not a disease. But obesity is a health disorder. A health disorder can result in various diseases.

How Can You Identify Obesity?

There are several signs of obesity. People with obesity, for example, have a BMI over 30. However, these people often also have physical complaints. Physical complaints associated with obesity include:

  • lack of perseverance
  • fatigue quickly
  • heavy sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • Pain in the joints
  • limited mobility

You think: maybe I have obesity? Or do you have physical complaints? Then go to the doctor. The doctor will ask you about your symptoms. And the doctor will calculate your BMI. This is how the doctor can determine: Do you have a normal weight? The doctor may also take blood from you. Then the doctor can tell: Do you have another illness?

What are the causes of obesity?

The body needs food. The body gains energy from food. The body needs this energy to live. But the body only needs a certain amount of energy. Does the body get more energy than necessary? Then the body converts the energy into fat. The body stores this fat. That is why people gain weight. There can be several causes for this weight gain. Causes of obesity can be:

  • missing movement. Many people sit a lot in everyday life. Too little sport and too little exercise can lead to obesity.
  • wrong diet. Fat and sugar contain a lot of energy. Snacks and ready meals contain a lot of fat and sugar. Some people eat these foods frequently. Some people also eat too much. So the body gets too much energy. The body converts the energy into fat, and those affected gain weight.
  • genetic predisposition. Do relatives of yours have obesity? Then your risk of obesity may be increased.
  • Stress. Stress often leads to malnutrition. Some people eat more because they are stressed or frustrated.
  • Diseases. Some people have an eating disorder. These people may then eat too much. Affected people may not be able to stop eating. Hormonal imbalances can also lead to obesity.
  • Medication. Certain medications can increase your risk of obesity.

What are the consequences of obesity?

Obesity is not a disease. But a person with obesity is at higher risk for other diseases. These diseases include, for example:

  • high blood pressure
  • Coronary heart disease
  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • Cancers
  • Problems with the joints
  • Metabolism disorders
  • mental illness

What Can You Do About Obesity?

Treating obesity is very important. Are you reducing obesity? Then you can prevent secondary diseases. Do you already have complications from obesity? Then maybe these diseases can improve. Here's what you can do against obesity:

  • Change diet. Affected people need to lose weight. To do this, they often have to change their diet. Affected people need to eat healthily. And they have to take in less energy. Caution: Affected people should not lose weight too quickly. Losing weight too quickly is not healthy. An affected person is losing weight very quickly? Then that person may gain weight again quickly. Talk to your doctor. Your doctor will tell you: How do you lose weight in a healthy way? The doctor may also recommend nutritional advice. The nutritional advice will support you in finding the right diet.
  • more movement. People with obesity often don't get enough exercise. With regular exercise, the body uses up more excess energy. This is why exercise helps you lose weight. Have you already lost weight? Then exercise will help you maintain your weight. Endurance sports are particularly good. Endurance sports are, for example, cycling or swimming. Ask Your Doctor: Which Sport Is Right For You? Exercise more in everyday life. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Behavior therapy. Some people find it difficult to control their eating habits. Behavioral therapy can help these people. Behavioral therapy is especially important for eating disorders.
  • Medication. Some people exercise a lot and eat healthily. Even so, these people are not losing weight. Then maybe medication can help. Warning: Always talk to your doctor about possible medication first. Your doctor can advise you.
  • surgical intervention. Obesity surgery can help in people with a BMI of 40 or more. During the operation, the doctor makes the stomach smaller. After that, people can only eat small amounts.

Note: Obesity is not a disease. Therefore, the health insurance does not have to pay for the treatment of obesity. However, many health insurance companies still cover part of the costs. With the treatment you can avoid secondary diseases. Ask your health insurance company: What costs does your health insurance company cover?

Where can you get more information?

Would you like to read more about obesity? You can find more information about obesity here. Attention: This link leads out of our simple language offer. The information is then no longer in plain language.

Attention: This text only contains general information. The text does not replace a visit to the doctor. Only a doctor can give you accurate information. Are you feeling sick? Or do you have questions about an illness? Then you should always see a doctor.

We wrote the texts together with the Light Language Research Center. The light language research center is at the University of Hildesheim.

Obesity obesity