Overweight and obesity are defined as having a body mass index [BMI] greater than or equal to 25 and 30, respectively. In children, the BMI is based on growth charts. Being overweight and obese occur when calorie intake is consistently greater than the number of calories burned through activity and basic metabolic processes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 1.6 billion overweight adults and more than 400 million obese adults worldwide. And these numbers are expected to rise. In the US, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that an estimated 66% of adults are either overweight overweight of which 33% are considered obese. American children and teens are also affected. An estimated 32% of children and young adults aged 2-19 are either overweight or obese.

Complications of Obesity

Being obese can increase your risk of death. For example, being overweight or obese during late adolescence can shorten life expectancy in adulthood. Obese people over the age of 65 face this risk, as well. Researchers have also found that people with a high waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio have an increased risk of death.

Other complications of untreated obesity include:

What are the risk factors for obesity?
What are the symptoms of obesity?
How is obesity diagnosed?
What are the treatments for obesity?
Are there screening tests for obesity?
How can I reduce my risk of obesity?
What questions should I ask my doctor?
Where can I get more information about obesity?