Obesity is a state of severe overweight, which is a danger to health. Obesity occurs when more energy is ingested by food and drinks than is consumed by physical activity. This leads to excessive fat accumulation. A person with obesity is also called an ‘obese’.


Obesity is caused by a disrupted energy balance and is generally the result of a combination of factors. Several possible factors are:


Obesity is associated with various physical and psychological symptoms. The following common signs and symptoms may occur:


Based on the symptoms, the diagnosis of obesity can be suspected. By calculating the body mass index (BMI) and measuring the waist size, it can be determined whether there is obesity. Obese people have a BMI of 30 or higher and a waist size of more than 102 centimeters (men) and more than 88 centimeters (women).


The treatment of obesity is largely based on the two pillars of an energy-restricted diet and increased exercise. In addition, medication and surgery can also be applied:


Obesity contributes significantly to various diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Therefore, obesity shortens life expectancy. Obesity is worldwide one of the leading preventable causes of death.