Obesity is a serious health concern that can result in many other health complications. In this article, we’ll discuss obesity and explore how the disease goes beyond mere body weight concerns. We’ll also examine its underlying causes, symptoms, and diagnostic procedures. By the end, you’ll gain valuable insights into effective weight management strategies, empowering you to take proactive steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

If you have further questions about effective ways to tackle weight loss, contact Dr. Blake Movitz at Detroit Weight Loss Center in Southfield, Michigan.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a complex disease that’s defined by a person having an excessive amount of body fat. Sadly, it goes beyond cosmetic concerns. Obesity can also increase the risk of many other diseases and health problems. These can include cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, liver disease, and certain cancers.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity is a complex disease with many contributing factors. However, generally speaking, obesity occurs when you consistently take in more calories than you can burn through physical activity and exercise. This excess energy is then stored as fat.

Risk Factors

The contributing factors that can lead to obesity include the following:

  • Family Inheritance: Genetics can influence body fat distribution and metabolic efficiency
  • Family Influences: Eating and activity habits are usually shared among families.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyle.
  • Certain Medications and Diseases: Medical conditions like hypothyroidism and medications such as steroids and antidepressants can lead to weight gain.
  • Social and Economic Issues: Limited access to healthy foods or safe exercise areas can contribute to obesity.
  • Age: As we age, we can experience hormonal changes, decreased activity, and muscle loss, which all contribute towards obesity.
  • Other Factors: Weight gain can also be caused by pregnancy, quitting smoking, disrupted sleep patterns, and stress.

Symptoms of Obesity

Your body mass index or BMI usually defines obesity. BMI is calculated by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703, then dividing this value by your height in inches, and then dividing again by your height in inches. Alternatively, you can divide your weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.

You can also use an online BMI calculator to get your BMI.

Your BMI will determine your weight status:

  • Less than 18.5: Underweight range
  • 18.5 to <25: Healthy weight range
  • 25.0 to <30: Overweight range.
  • 30.0 or higher: Obesity range.

Obesity can be subdivided into further categories:

  • Class I Obesity: BMI of 30 to < 35
  • Class II Obesity: BMI of 35 to < 40
  • Class III Obesity: BMI of 40 or higher.

Those of Asian descent may have an increased risk of health problems with a BMI of 23 or higher.

BMI can provide a reasonable estimate of BMI; however, muscular athletes may have a high BMI without having excess body fat.

Another indicator of weight-related health problems is waist circumference. Men with a waist circumference of 40 inches (102 centimeters) and women with a waist measurement of over 35 inches (89 centimeters) are at higher risk.

Another test that could be used is to measure body fat percentage.

When Should You See a Doctor?

You should see a weight loss specialist in Detroit or the surrounding area if you’re concerned about your weight or weight-related health problems. Be sure to ask your healthcare professional about obesity management. You and your doctor can evaluate your health risks and discuss your weight-loss options.

Diagnosing Obesity

To diagnose obesity, healthcare professionals typically conduct a thorough assessment, which may include:

  • Evaluating your health history
  • A physical examination
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation
  • Waist size measurement
  • Screening for other health conditions

How is Obesity Treated?

The goal of obesity treatment is to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, thereby improving your overall health and reducing the risk of obesity-related complications like heart disease. The first goal is to assist you in losing some excess weight. It is often recommended that you try to lose 5 to 10% of your total body weight.

Treating obesity typically involves a multidisciplinary approach. This could most likely include some extreme lifestyle changes, taking weight-loss medications, or even requiring a certain type of bariatric surgery.

Lifestyle Changes

The first step is always to try making lifestyle changes. These changes may involve the following:

  • Dietary Changes: Focus on reducing calorie intake through healthier eating habits. Prioritize eating whole, nutrient-dense foods while reducing the consumption of high-calorie, processed options. Customize your calorie intake according to your individual needs. Typically, this ranges from 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day, based on your gender and activity level.
  • Exercise and Activity: Try to incorporate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week to prevent weight gain or sustain modest weight loss. Try moving throughout the day to increase calorie expenditure.
  • Behavioral Modifications: Behavioral modification programs help identify and address underlying factors contributing to obesity, such as emotional eating or sedentary habits. Seek counseling or join support groups to develop coping strategies and foster accountability.

The Coaching Corner at Detroit Weight Loss Center can help with nutritional guidance and virtual personal coaching to help you stick to the necessary lifestyle changes.

Weight-Loss Medications

Dr. Movitz can provide FDA-approved weight-loss medications to assist you in your efforts to lose weight.

Weight-Loss Surgery

If you are finding it hard to lose weight despite lifestyle changes, weight loss surgery may be considered. Dr. Movitz can help you evaluate the available options for bariatric surgery with you. Procedures include gastric bypass, gastric sleeve surgery, single anastomosis duodenoileostomy with sleeve gastrectomy (SADIS), or duodenal switch.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Are you ready to take control of your health? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Movitz at Detroit Weight Loss Center to explore personalized strategies for managing obesity and achieving lasting well-being.

Our team of medical weight loss professionals in Southfield, MI, and the surrounding area are ready to give you the care you’re looking for. Contact us today!


Medically reviewed by Dr. Blake Movitz, MD,  FACS

Dr. Blake Movitz

Dr. Blake Movitz

Fellowship trained from the Mayo Clinic in Minimally Invasive Advanced GI Surgery, Complex Endoscopy and Bariatric Surgery.