Overweight and obesity can be defined as excessive accumulation of fat in the body to the extent that it impairs health.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple weight-for-height index commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. BMI is a value obtained by dividing the individual’s body weight (kg) by the square of the height (in m) (BMI=kg/m2).

World Health Organisation;

BMI value equal to or higher than 25 is overweight

A BMI value equal to or greater than 30 is defined as obesity.

BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight and obesity in adults, which is the same for all ages and genders. However, BMI is used to estimate body weight for height and does not provide information about body fat distribution.

Waist circumference is a less commonly used method to measure obesity in individuals. This simple measurement determines obesity and morbid obesity by measuring waist circumference in adults. To find the waist circumference, the area above the hip bone and below the rib cage is measured with a tape measure.

For women, a waist circumference of 89 cm or more is considered unhealthy. For men, a waist circumference of 102 cm or more is considered unhealthy. There is no classification scheme or ranges for determining obesity by this method. Only the above-mentioned simple thresholds for men and women apply.

Causes of obesity and overweight

The main cause of obesity and overweight is that the daily energy intake (calories) is more than the energy expended. Globally;

Increased intake of energy-dense foods with high fat content,

Increase in physical in-activity due to the increased sedentary sweat structure of many types of work,

Change in transport modes,

Increasing urbanisation is among the causes of obesity.

Changes in dietary patterns and physical activity patterns are often the result of environmental and societal changes related to a lack of supportive policies in sectors such as health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, environment, food processing, distribution, marketing and education. Obesity is a disease caused by factors that are often beyond the control of the individual.
Science shows that genetics plays a role in obesity. Genes can cause certain disorders that lead to obesity. However, not all individuals with a predisposition to obesity become obese. Research is ongoing to determine which genes contribute most to obesity.

The World Health Organisation confirms that in the current century, obesity has a similar or higher prevalence than malnutrition and infectious diseases. Therefore, unless effective measures are taken to prevent and treat obesity, more than half of the world’s population will be obese by 2025.

Therefore, obesity is a chronic disease affecting men and women of all races and ages, which is common in developed countries.

Pre-obesity and obesity is an important public health problem that requires a joint strategy that includes the promotion of healthy eating habits and a more active lifestyle, as well as the provision of appropriate treatment and aftercare.

Childhood Obesity

In particular, the prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing in Europe.

Childhood obesity is increasingly recognised as a strong predictor of adult obesity, especially during the second decade of life, especially for overweight children of obese parents.

Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that obesity harms social, economic and health outcomes. Therefore, childhood obesity is now recognised as a major public health problem with the increasing prevalence of adult-age obesity in developed and developing countries.