Obesity is a serious medical condition that can cause complications such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancers and sleep disorders. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of your condition and whether you have complications. Treatments include lifestyle changes, such as heart-healthy eating and increased physical activity, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved weight-loss medicines.
New weight loss medications are being researched to help decrease obesity and improve health and well-being. Interested in taking part in one of these obesity research studies. Select a location below to find a currently enrolling obesity clinical trial near you. Use the form on the page to schedule an appointment to learn more.
There are several reasons why a person can develop obesity. For example, energy imbalances can cause obesity. An energy imbalance means that your energy IN does not equal your energy OUT. This energy is measured in calories. Energy IN is the amount of calories you get from food and drinks. Energy OUT is the amount of calories that your body uses for things such as breathing, digesting, being physically active, and regulating body temperature. Obesity develops over time when you take in more calories than you use, or when energy IN is more than your energy OUT. This type of energy imbalance causes your body to store fat. The amount of energy that your body gets from the food you eat depends on the type of foods you eat, how the food is prepared, and how long it has been since you last ate.
Besides energy imbalances, there are other causes of obesity such as: genetic syndromes, endocrine disorders, medicines such as antipsychotic, antidepressants, antiepileptic and antihyperglycemics that can cause weight gain and lead to obesity.
There are many risk factors for obesity. Some risk factors can be changed, such as unhealthy lifestyle habits and environments. Other risk factors, such as age, family history and genetics, race and ethnicity, and sex, cannot be changed. Heathy lifestyle changes can decrease your risk for becoming overweight and obese.
To prevent obesity, children and adults should be screened at least annually to see if they have a high or increasing body mass index (BMI), which allows doctors to recommend healthy lifestyle changes to prevent overweight and obesity. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adults. A healthy weight for adults is usually when your BMI is between 18.5 to 25.
There are no specific symptoms of obesity. The signs of obesity include a high body mass index (BMI) and an unhealthy body fat distribution that can be estimated by measuring your waist circumference. Obesity can cause complications in many parts of your body.