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Overweight in adults is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25. Obesity in adults is defined as having a BMI greater than or equal to 30. In children, being overweight or obese is based on being above normal ranges on growth charts. Being overweight or obese occurs when the amount of calories you take in is consistently greater than the number of calories you use during activity and basic bodily functions.
Being obese can increase your risk of early death and shorten life expectancy.
Other complications of untreated obesity include:
Being overweight can also affect pregnancy. Some complications include:
You may also experience problems during labor and deliver, having a baby with a high birth weight, or malformations of the baby.
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?
Last reviewed February 2014 by Kim Carmichael, MD
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