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What is Obesity? Why is it an important public health problem?

Obesity is the accumulation of abnormal and excessive fat in the body to the extent that the amount of calories taken from food is more than the amount of calories consumed, which will impair health. Obesity, which is known as overweight among the people, which significantly reduces the quality of life and shortens the life span, is a very important health problem that is growing and becoming widespread in our age.

If the daily energy intake is more than the energy spent, the energy that cannot be spent is stored as fat in the body and causes obesity.

Adipose tissue constitutes 15-18% of body weight in adult men and 20-25% in women. If this rate is over 25% in men and over 30% in women, obesity constitutes. 1.6 billion people in the world are overweight and 400 million of them are obese. Rather than being an aesthetic problem, obesity is an important disease that can cause high blood pressure, heart failure, fatal vascular diseases and psychological problems if left untreated. 

Concomitant diseases that can be caused by obesity are:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension, Coronary artery disease, Heart failure
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Metabolic syndrome, Insulin resistance, Cholesterol and lipid elevation
  • Menstrual irregularities, Infertility, Birth difficulties, Polycystic ovary syndrome, Excessive hair growth
  • Sleep apnea, Sleep disorders
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Depression, Social maladjustment
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Varicosis
  • Brain hemorrhage and Paralysis
  • Gallbladder stone
  • Some cancers such as breast, colon and prostate cancer (obesity surgeries are reported to reduce deaths due to various cancers in the long term)
  • Urinary incontinence


Body mass index (BMI) is the most widely used measurement method recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) to determine obesity. BMI; It is calculated by dividing the body weight in kilograms by the square of the height in square meters.

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