What are the most common signs of obesity?

There are many signs of obesity beyond just a person's weight. Obesity can cause a number of related symptoms resulting from having too much body fat. Obese people typically exhibit at least some outward characteristics, such as physical exertion and discomfort, and may also experience weight-related health problems.

The first and most obvious sign of obesity is excess body fat. To be classified as obese, a person generally must have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. The BMI is the number that is the result of taking a person's weight in kilograms and dividing it by their height in meters squared. Very fit, muscular people can technically have a BMI of over 30 due to large muscle mass, but to be truly obese, one must have an accumulation of a large amount of body fat.

More signs of obesity may include the physical characteristics associated with the condition. Obese people tend to have a very large abdominal circumference. They are also much more likely to overheat and sweat under what would normally be non-strenuous conditions. This is often due to both the insulating effects of body fat and the additional effort required to move. Sometimes friction, heat, and moisture can cause pain or rashes in areas with large skin folds.

Diseases can be some of the darkest signs of obesity. Many obese people suffer from diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Snoring and sleep apnea are also common indications of obesity, since as people gain weight, it becomes more difficult to breathe normally while sleeping. This difficulty sleeping combined with the aforementioned exertion during movement often leads to fatigue and lack of energy.

The body of an obese person is subjected to various forms of stress that the bodies of people of lower weight do not have to face. Joint and muscle pain can often be the result of the body straining to bear extra weight. Some people also suffer from muscle fatigue and weakness. Obese people may have difficulty standing or walking for a long period of time and experience a significant lack of cardiovascular endurance needed to complete daily tasks due to these problems. Lack of energy and cardiovascular endurance tend to create a vicious cycle that contributes to further weight gain, because they make exercise attempts highly unpleasant or nearly impossible experiences.

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