What is Obesity
Healthy Eating,  Sugar,  Weight

What is Obesity?

I want to be crystal clear about this. This article is not about fat shaming. It’s about acknowledging any weight challenges you have so you can move forward slowly, surely and confidently to take significant positive action. It’s important to define what is obesity.

The fact is one of the most significant and most common health issues currently ravaging the world is obesity.

When you struggle with obesity, you risk having high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure. If your weight is not in a normal range, you are more likely to develop prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Body Size

To measure your body size to determine if you are obese or not, your height and weight will be taken into account and calculated with your body mass index (BMI).  A BMI of a minimum of 30.0 indicates obesity in adults. From 2017 to 2018, 42.4 percent of adult Americans aged 20 years or more were diagnosed to be obese.

Classification of Obesity

BMI is regarded to be a metric utilized in measuring body size. Though some researchers have mentioned that its relationship with body fat can be influenced by factors like muscle mass, ethnicity, sex, and age, it remains an accepted metric.

Adults who are no less than 20 years old can have their BMI classified, as stated below, to determine their level of obesity:

  • You have severe, extreme, or morbid obesity, which is also referred to as class 3 obesity if you have a BMI of a minimum of 40.0 or more.
  • You have class 2 obesity if you have a BMI of about 35.0 to 39.9
  • You have class 1 obesity if you have a BMI of about 30.0 to 34.9
  • You’re considered to be overweight if you have a BMI of about 25.0 to 29.9
  • You’re considered to have “normal” weight if you have a BMI of about 18.5 to 24.9
  • You’re considered underweight if you have a BMI of 18.5 or less.
  • Here’s a BMI chart so you can determine what your current BMI is: Body Mass Index Table 1 (nih.gov)

Childhood Obesity

Sadly, obesity isn’t limited to adults alone. This is especially true in recent years as children eat more processed food and fewer whole foods including fresh fruits and vegetables. How do doctors confirm obesity in children? If your child or teenager is diagnosed to be in the 95th percentile, he or she will be considered obese.

Children who are more than two years old or teens can have their BMI classified as stated below to determine their level of obesity:

  • If the percentile range of BMI is a minimum of 95% or more, it’s obesity.
  • If the percentile range of BMI is 85% to 94%, it’s overweight.
  • If the percentile range of BMI is 5% to 84%, it’s “normal” weight.
  • If the percentile range of BMI is 4% or less, it’s underweight.

Symptoms and Signs Associated with Obesity  

Many people struggle with obesity, and there are a number of factors that foster obesity. Diseases and health problems such as dementia, depression, endometrial cancer, colon cancer, insomnia from sleep apnea, lung issues, gallstones, gout, osteoarthritis, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease have been constantly associated with obesity.

Common symptoms of obesity in adults include:

  • Psychological issues like social isolation, shame, depression, and negative self-esteem
  • Pain, often in the back and joints
  • Mild to extreme fatigue
  • Inability to carry out usually performed simple physical tasks
  • Skin problems
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Inordinate sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excess body fat, especially around the waist known as belly fat

Common symptoms of childhood obesity may include:

  • Orthopedic problems such as dislocated hips or flat feet
  • Delayed puberty in boys/early puberty in girls
  • Low self-esteem
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Constipation
  • Sleep apnea
  • Shortness of breath with physical activity

Morbid Obesity Symptoms

Also referred to as class III obesity or extreme obesity, morbid obesity is not uncommon in the U.S. and in other countries. People diagnosed to be morbidly obese have a minimum BMI of 40 or more and are at least 100 pounds beyond what’s considered average body weight. People who are morbidly obese can have a BMI of 35 and may experience health issues such as diabetes and/or high blood pressure. People who are morbidly obese may also find it difficult to breathe, walk, and carry out their regular daily activities.


There are many misconceptions about obesity. One of them is the relationship between obesity and willpower. Many people believe it’s a lack of willpower that makes people gain weight and become obese. This is not entirely true. Many are quick to judge people who struggle with their weight as to how they’re not “willing” to stick to a weight loss program. However, many people find it difficult to control their eating habits, even though they realize lifestyle and eating behavior largely account for their weight gain.

It’s true there are some people who have gene pool issues that cause them to gain weight; hormones and genetics are some of the diverse biological factors that drive overeating. It takes slow, steady, determined changes in behavior and lifestyle for these genetic disadvantages to be overcome and vanquished.

As a final word, diets don’t work. They are unsustainable for the long term, and that is what you want. Sustained long term life-style changes will help you create new eating habits and will foster weight loss that is slow and steady as well as sustainable for the long term.

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!


Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant


I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you! If you’re new to the world of creating better health, both mental and physical for yourself, please check out my training on how to get gluten out of your diet. Becoming Gluten Free Me is where to check it out. Learn how gluten affects us and how to go about reducing or eliminating it from your diet. You don’t have to suffer with Celiac Disease to benefit from getting gluten out of your life!

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