What is Obesity?You know you could stand to lose a few pounds, but are you technically obese? And, if you are, what additional consequences does that mean for you?Obesity DefinedYou are obese by definition when you have too much fat. But, to be labeled obese by a medical doctor, according to WebMD you have to be more than 20% above your normal body weight. If you’re more than 50% over your normal body weight, you are classified as morbidly obese.For example, an individual that should weigh 120 pounds to be healthy is obese if he or she weighs more than 144 pounds. And, that same person is morbidly obese at any weight above 180 pounds.Another popular way to determine if you qualify for this diagnosis, is to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). You can use an online calculator for simplicity and it will give you your number based upon your height and weight. If your BMI is between 25% and 29.9%, you are overweight. However, if it is above 29.9%, then you are obese; 40% or more and you’re morbidly obese.Causes of ObesityWhat causes people to be obese? There’s no one solid answer and, usually, no one individual reason. It’s usually a culmination of a lot of factors.Some influencers are biological, therefore beyond your control. Your metabolism may be affected by genetics, sex and age. But, lifestyle choices also play an important role in whether or not you’re at a healthy weight. Your behaviors, level of physical activity and even certain medications all have an impact.Consequences of ObesityObesity is linked to many major medical conditions. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that obesity not only increases your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, but it also shortens your life expectancy.The reason for this is two-fold. First, if you’re obese, you have a higher amount of adipose tissue. This means a greater likelihood of health related issues like sleep apnea and osteoarthritis. Both of these are created due to the extra weight being carried on a consistent basis.Second, obese individuals have larger fat cells which release harmful products. It’s these secretions that can turn into severe medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.Regardless of the cause, the focus should be on the cure. No one has to live life as an obese person. If this is you or someone you love, seek help. It truly could be life or death.