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Is obesity an eating disorder? Must know Risk factors of obesity

Is obesity an eating disorder

In developed countries like America, we are in the race to be slim. We are ready to customize our meals and modify our calorie intake. In this race, we are overlooking the healthy lifestyle instead, unknowingly, we are heading toward an unhealthy lifestyle.

No matter how nicely calorie intake is explained by those fancy restaurants we are unaware of the fact that we are consuming daily calorie intake in one meal from these unhealthy food points.

Though Obesity and eating disorders are interlinked to each other they are not the same. However, the severity of both diseases cannot be overlooked. They both have severe physical and mental consequences, therefore, requiring medical experts interventions.

What is Obesity?

Is obesity an eating disorder
© Google

Obesity is a disease in which Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30. According to the global burden of disease, obesity has grown into an epidemic now, and nearly 4 million people are dying across the globe each year due to being obese or overweight.

It is a complex medical concern that increases the risk of other morbidities such as cardiovascular, Blood Pressure, and certain cancers. Logically, obesity is not just a concern from a cosmetic angle, but it is a risk factor for other morbidities.

Obesity is the result of an excessive amount of fat in the body.

How to diagnose obesity?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the way to diagnose obesity. You can calculate your body mass index very quickly and easily with a formula. Divide the weight in kgs by the square of height in meters.

BMI = Weight in kgs/ (height in meters) ^2

Once you calculate your BMI now, you need to check with the standard range of BMI, which differentiate between normal, obese, and underweight people.

< 18.5Underweight
18.5 – 24.9Normal
25.0 – 29.9Overweight
30.0 or higherObesity

However, BMI may be higher in some cases. Like athletes, it is the indirect measure of body fat.

What are Obesity and eating disorders?

Obesity as already discussed is characterized by excessive fat in the body. However, an eating disorder is a behavioral condition characterized by chronic and continuous disturbance in eating habits.

Binge eating, Anorexia, and bulimia are some categories of an eating disorders. Eating disorders are usually associated with disturbing emotions and thoughts.

It can be managed by a combination of medical interventions and with the help of mental health professionals.

What are the risk factors for obesity?

Risk factors associated with obesity are:


Certain genes might affect weight management in one person and may or may not affect another.

Intake of Calories: 

It is essential to maintain the energy balance. Calories supplied to the body must meet the demand. If calorie intake becomes higher than the requirement it may result in obesity.

Lack of physical exercise: 

The boom in the IT sector in previous years landed most Americans in a job that requires little labor or manual work. Sitting on the system the whole day long and lack of physical exercise in daily routine might result in obesity.

Inappropriate mealtime: 

Most Americans are addicted to ready-to-eat and quickly accessible meals on every corner of the street. This habit takes away the joy of enjoying a meal nicely on a table with family and friends.

What is the relation between comorbidity and obesity?

Comorbidity is the term used for the occurrence of two or more diseases in the body at the same point in time or one preceding the other (For example Hypertension with diabetes). The presence of comorbidity most likely worsens the other.

Comorbidity and obesity are significantly associated with each other. Binge eating is an eating disorder that worsens the effect of obesity. These two diseases most probably occur as comorbidity.

Obesity in children?

Obesity in children occurs when extra fat is deposited on the body in childhood or at the age of adolescence. Childhood obesity may lead to depression and low confidence.

Some extra pounds on your body as compared to your body frame may not necessarily means obesity. BMI is the way by which obesity can be measured in children. Physical complications associated with childhood obesity are Type 2 diabetes, Joint pain, problems in breathing, High Blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Obesity is not just a cosmetic concern; it is a social concern as well. Children having obesity may experience eve teasing by their peers.

Obesity statistics in children in America?

Obesity is a severe concern in the USA and a risk factor for fragile health. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention prevalence of obesity in children is as follows:

Data collected in the year 2017-2020 for the age group 2-19 shows the occurrence of obesity was 19.7% affecting nearly 14.7 million children and adolescents.

For other age group prevalence of obesity is as follows:

Age groupPercentage occurrence of obesity
2-5 years12.7%
6-11 years20.7%
12-19 years22.2%

How to Prevent Obesity in Children?

How to Prevent Obesity in Children
© Google

 Obesity is curable and manageable in children. To manage obesity in children, take care of the following points:

Set an ideal example: 

Adopt healthy eating and physical exercise routine. Kids learn by watching more than teaching. They will follow you and will not feel left out.

Have healthy snacks available and accessible: 

The child’s body demands food now and then, especially snacks. Always keep healthy snacks such as popcorn, yogurt, oats, and fruits ready with you to satisfy your child’s hunger.

Offer new food repeatedly: 

It takes time to develop the taste of fresh food. Don’t lose hope try to offer the same food multiple times with a little twist. 

Avoid promising food rewards: 

Do not promise candy as a reward for completing the task.

Track sleep: 

Getting enough sleep is the key to a healthy body. Sleep disturbance might increase appetite resulting in obesity. 


Obesity and eating disorders are not lifestyle choices. There is no shame in accepting them and no point in feeling alone and depressed.

Instead, figure out what can make you feel better and reach out to medical experts. You can bring a change in your life just by accepting the fact that obesity requires medical interventions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
© Louis [Pixabay]

Does being overweight mean you have an eating disorder?

No, they are linked but not the same.

What is the difference between anorexia and obesity?

Obesity is diagnosed by BMI. While anorexia is an eating disorder characterised by low body weight.

What are three common types of disordered eating?

Here, There are three common types of disordered eating – Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.

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