Overweight is a common condition having more body fat than is optimally healthy, especially where food supplies are plentiful and lifestyles are sedentary. A healthy body requires a minimum amount of fat for the proper functioning of the hormonal, reproductive, and immune systems, as thermal insulation, as shock absorption for sensitive areas, and as energy for future use. But the accumulation of too much storage fat can impair movement and flexibility, and can alter the appearance of the body.
The degree to which a person is overweight is generally described by body mass index (BMI). Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 or more, thus it includes pre-obesity defined as a BMI between 25 and 30 and obesity as defined by a BMI of 30 or more. Pre obese and overweight however are often used interchangeably thus giving overweight a common definition of a BMI of between 25 -30. There are however several other common ways to measure the amount of adiposity or fat present in an individual's body.
Being overweight is generally caused by the intake of more calories by eating and drinking than are expended by the body by exercise and everyday living. Factors that may contribute to this imbalance include:
- Eating disorders (such as binge eating)
- Genetic predisposition
- Hormonal imbalances (e.g. hypothyroidism)
- Insufficient or poor-quality sleep
- Limited physical exercise and sedentary lifestyle
- Poor nutrition
- Metabolic disorders (caused by repeated attempts to lose weight)
- Psychotropic medication
- Smoking cessation and other stimulant withdrawal
Excess weight has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults being either overweight or obese in 2003 and in 2013 this increased to more than 2 billion. Increases have been noted across all age groups and all across all gender.
There are many negative health outcomes associated with obesity and being overweight. The generally accepted view is estimated that the risk of death increases by 20 to 40 percent among overweight people and the Framingham heart study found that being overweight at age 40 reduced life expectancy by an average three years. A review in 2013 came to the result that being overweight significantly increases the risk of oligospermia and azoospermia in men. People who have insulin dependant diabetes and chronically overdose insulin may gain weight, while people who already are overweight may develop insulin tolerance, and in the long run type II diabetes and heart ailments.
However some study shows that if an individual is overweight and has excess body fat but is active and performs daily exercise it could, but won't always, create or lead to health risks. Reports are surfacing that a person being mildly overweight to slightly obese with BMI being between 24 and 31.9 but is active and performs daily exercise may be actually beneficial and that they could actually live longer than normal weight or underweight persons.
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