What is obesity?
Obesity is a health condition that occurs when a person carries excess weight that impacts their overall health. Obesity is typically connected to a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher.
If you suffer from obesity, you may have a higher risk of developing other health issues. Losing even some weight lowers your risk of conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
Our staff of physicians, physician assistants, certified registered nurse practitioners and registered dietitians specialize in weight loss to create a plan designed specifically for each person.
Obesity risk factors
There are certain behaviors, genetics and risk factors that can increase your chances of obesity. These include:
- Family history: Your DNA affects how and where your body stores fat. But it isn’t just genes that increase your chances for obesity — you also learn eating and exercising behaviors from the people you grow up with.
- Age: Obesity can happen at any age, but your chances increase as you get older and your hormones change. Ideally, your eating and exercise habits should change with your hormones. Even so, it can be harder to lose weight, which can lead to obesity.
- Physical inactivity: Are you sitting more than standing? Are movies replacing moving? Living a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for obesity.
- Stress: When you’re under a lot of stress, you’re more likely to up your calories. The more you’re stressed, the more you eat and the higher your chance of obesity.
- Lack of sleep: If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will crave foods that are higher in calories and carbohydrates. This is connected to changes in hormones and it can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Having one or many of these risk factors doesn’t necessarily lead to obesity, and most of them can be addressed with behavioral changes. If you’re having a hard time losing excess weight, talk with your doctor about options in nutrition and weight management.
Nutrition for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight
Food nourishes the body and can be the key to living and sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Changing the way you eat isn’t just a great way to manage your weight — it can change your overall health, no matter your age.
By eating healthier and losing weight, you can:
- Decrease your risk of stroke
- Ease back and joint pain
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Move more easily
- Reverse the course of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep better
Trying to improve your nutrition to be healthier or seeking a nutrition partner after bariatric surgery? A personalized plan from our nutritionists will help you reach your nutrition and weight management goals.
Nutrition and weight management at Geisinger
Weight loss is not just about diet and exercise. It begins with getting very specific about the wellness and fitness goals needed to achieve success.
Our weight-management team is here to provide you and your loved ones with compassionate care and the most advanced weight-loss programs available. We offer:
- Focused care – From diet and exercise to bariatric surgery, everyone’s needs are different. Our weight-loss specialists will partner with you to create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.
- Teamwork – Lifestyle and behavioral education, support groups, nutritional counseling and medical care all help you succeed before and after bariatric surgery. Personalized education and support keep you moving toward your weight-loss goals.
- Research – The Geisinger Obesity Institute performs in-depth research on obesity — leading to better care for you. Learn more about weight-loss research at Geisinger.