To find out if a person is overweight, you can calculate their body mass index. People with a BMI of 25 or more are said to be overweight. Anything above 30 is said to be obese (very overweight). Overweight used to be a BMI of 27 or more. In 1998 this changed.
Being overweight is associated with health problems such as Type 2 diabetes. Obesity is associated with greater health problems than overweight. In 2006 Adams et al. estimated that the risk of death increases by 20 to 40 percent among overweight people. Some people think that being overweight is not as unhealthy as is commonly thought. A 2013 review of 97 Pubmed articles with a sample size of 2.88 million found that overweight is associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality (death) than 'normal' weight. Body fat contains energy that the body can use to heal when it is sick. 51.3% of overweight adults are metabolically healthy. Metabolically healthy overweight women are no more likely to die or have a heart attack or stroke than metabolically healthy normal weight women.
Doctors often tell overweight people that losing weight would be good for their health. People usually try to lose weight by eating less. This is called 'dieting'. They may exercise too. Dieting is often ineffective. 41% of dieters weigh more four to five years after the end of the diet than before it began.
Some people might use herbal teas, powders and pills to help to lower their mass.
Animals can also be overweight.
Overweight is not just associated with bad health. People think that being overweight means that a person is lazy or bad. Overweight people are often treated badly by other people for because of this. This is called fatphobia.
More than 1.4 billion adults are overweight in the world. The amount of overweight people is increasing.
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- Hart, C. L.; Hole, D. J.; Lawlor, D. A.; Davey Smith, G. (1 January 2007). "How many cases of Type 2 diabetes mellitus are due to being overweight in middle age? Evidence from the Midspan prospective cohort studies using mention of diabetes mellitus on hospital discharge or death records". Diabetic Medicine: A Journal of the British Diabetic Association 24 (1): 73–80. doi:10.1111/j.1464-5491.2007.02016.x. PMID 17227327. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17227327.
- Adams, Kenneth F.; Schatzkin, Arthur; Harris, Tamara B.; Kipnis, Victor; Mouw, Traci; Ballard-Barbash, Rachel; Hollenbeck, Albert; Leitzmann, Michael F. (24 August 2006). "Overweight, Obesity, and Mortality in a Large Prospective Cohort of Persons 50 to 71 Years Old". New England Journal of Medicine 355 (8): 763–778. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa055643. PMID 16926275. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa055643.
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- Sowers, MaryFran R.; Wylie-Rosett, Judith; Rajpathak, Swapnil; McGinn, Aileen P.; Reynolds, Kristi; Muntner, Paul; Wildman, Rachel P. (11 August 2008). "The Obese Without Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Clustering and the Normal Weight With Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Clustering: Prevalence and Correlates of 2 Phenotypes Among the US Population (NHANES 1999-2004)". Archives of Internal Medicine 168 (15): 1617–1624. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.15.1617. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/770362.
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- Hartung, Freda-Marie; Renner, Britta (1 April 2013). "Perceived and Actual Social Discrimination: The Case of Overweight and Social Inclusion". Frontiers in Psychology 4. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00147. PMC PMC3612696. PMID 23554597. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612696/.