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Understanding Obesity


Understanding obesity

The words “overweight” and “obesity” mean a person’s body weight is higher than what is considered healthy for their height.

In general, people can become overweight or obese due to an imbalance of energy.

“Energy in” comes from calories in the food you eat.

“Energy out” is the amount of calories your body burns during physical activity.

Over time, if your “energy in” is less than your “energy out,” you will lose weight.

If your “energy in” is about the same as your “energy out”, your weight will stay the same.

If your “energy in” is greater than your “energy out,” you will gain weight.

Risks for becoming obese include:

an inactive lifestyle;

lack of access to places to exercise;

lack of access to healthy food;

a diet rich in high calorie, fatty, and sugary foods;

meals with oversize food portions;

having a family history of being overweight or obese,

diseases, such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome,

side effects from some medications,

lack of sleep.

emotions that can make you want to eat more;

and advertisements for high-calorie, unhealthy foods and drinks.

Obesity raises your risk of developing health problems, such as:

type two diabetes,

high blood pressure,

high cholesterol,

heart disease,


and certain cancers.

If you have questions about obesity, talk to your healthcare provider.