Obesity is among the most serious health problems in Turkey as well as around the world. In addition to its effect on the human body, if obesity that leads to various diseases is not treated, this disease might have deadly consequences. Our country ranks at the top in adult obesity in Europe and it is estimated that there are 20 million morbid obese and more overweight people. The answer to how obesity is measured question lies in the body mass index.

Body mass index (BMI) is the number that we obtain when we divide the weight of an individual by the square of the height. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), standard data ranges such as normal, overweight, obese and morbidly obese are determined for assessment.

What is obesity?

In the simplest sense, obesity is an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation in the body. Humans need to have balanced energy consumption and energy intake in a day to have healthy bodies. When this balance is disrupted, weight problems will emerge.

If the energy intake is higher than energy consumption, fat will accumulate in the body and if this fat accumulation is not prevented, obesity occurs.

The main reasons for obesity are bad and unhealthy diet, inactive lifestyle, genetic tendency, hormonal problems caused by other health problems and medication side-effects.

How is body mass index calculated?

To diagnose obesity, body mass index or weight height calculation is the basis. Body mass index which is also known as BMI is calculated by dividing the individual’s weight in terms of kg to the square of height in terms of meter.

People with a BMI below 18.5 are accepted underweight and people between 18.5-24.9 are accepted as a normal weight.

People with BMI between 25-29.9 are defined as overweight.

So, how is obesity measured, which values are considered for obesity diagnosis?

Obesity values for kg/m2 calculation are as follows:

  • Between 30-34.9: I. level obesity
  • Between 35-39.9: level obesity
  • 40 or above Morbid obese

To determine the obesity level, fat accumulation in the body and fat distribution are important as well as BMI values. At this point, fat around the belly and waist is important. Fat accumulation in the abdominal region and internal organs brings insulin resistance as well. This is closely related to type-2 diabetes, heart diseases and hypertension.

World Health Organisation classifies waist/hip ratio of 0.85 for women and 1.0 for men as android-type obesity.

For only waist measurement, 94 cm or above for men and 80 cm or above for women is considered as a data for obesity diagnosis.

What are obesity treatment methods?

Patients that experience weight problem wants to learn more about how obesity is treated after how obesity is the measured question.

Obesity treatment involves different methods. These methods are generally implemented with the order until the patient is successful.

The first treatment method is the lifestyle changes where the patient follows a special diet and exercise program under doctor and dietitian control. Additionally, weight loss medication treatment might be applied if the surgeon sees this option suitable.

If there are no results after these two steps, obesity surgery comes in.

The most common surgical methods are gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and stomach band.

In addition to these three methods, a gastric balloon which is an endoscopic procedure is an alternative for weight loss.

Obesity surgery is an effective method for patients to lose weight fast and successfully. But this surgery is not suitable for everyone who wants to lose weight.

There are certain criteria for obesity surgery in our country as well as around the world.

Obesity patients with BMI between 30 and 39.9

Morbid obese patients with body mass index more than 40

Patients with serious health problems such as type-2 diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and sleep apnoea in addition to BMI are suitable for the surgery.

In addition to all these methods, another important thing in obesity treatment is the willingness and devotedness of the patient to treatment. Obesity patients must change their lifestyles and make this new lifestyle sustainable.

All patients to lose weight and regain their health. But patients need to complete his/her responsibilities (following surgeon’s recommendations, regularly coming to controls, correct and healthy eating, physical activity, avoiding harmful habits etc.) in addition to medical methods.

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