Obesity – what are its types and how they are defined?

Obesity is defined as fat tissue exceeding 20% of body weight in men and 25% in women. It is most often divided into primary and secondary obesity. The former, although usually resulting from an improper diet, is not always the case. Genetic conditions and the so-called environmental factor also have a significant impact on developing obesity. Sometimes, as a result of a genetic mutation, metabolic processes do not function properly. One of the reasons for significant weight gain may also be psychological. A huge part of people cannot cope with stress and in order to relieve it, they reach for food. Very often these are unhealthy snacks.

Secondary obesity is a consequence of disease. Its occurrence may be related to:

  • a disease of the pituitary gland (e.g. hypopituitarism)
  • changes in the thyroid gland (e.g., hypothyroidism)
  • changes in the ovaries (e.g., obesity may occur with the polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • a disease of the adrenal glands (e.g., Cushing’s syndrome)
  • damage to the hypothalamus
  • certain hereditary diseases and congenital defects, such as Turner syndrome (it mainly affects girls and is characterized by abnormal development of the gonads)

Obesity – is it already?

The division into primary and secondary obesity is not the only one. Depending on the distribution of body fat, we talk about android and gynoid obesity. For their diagnosis, three values are needed – body weight, waist circumference, and the so-called WHR index, which is the ratio of waist circumference to hips. Sometimes its range is given based on BMI. In this case, the degree of obesity is given on a three-stage scale:

  • Stage I – 30 – 34.9 kg/m2 of body height
  • Stage II – 35 – 39.9 kg/m2 of body height
  • Stage III – 40 and more kg/m2 of body height
Types of obesity
Types of obesity

Types of obesity

Apple obesity

This type of obesity is also called abdominal obesity and is confirmed based on WHR measurement. It is greater than or equal to 0.8 in women and 1 in men. Instead of calculations, you can simply measure your waist circumference. In case the result is higher than 94 in gentlemen and 80 in ladies it is said to be the first degree of abdominal obesity. The second exceeds 102 and 88 centimeters of the waist, respectively.

The accumulation of fat tissue in the abdominal area much more often affects men, in the case of ladies, however, it can appear during menopause.

In addition to a sizeable abdomen, the shoulders are rounded and the chest is enlarged. In the case of men, the breasts may also enlarge. The legs usually remain the same, while the waistline almost completely disappears. Due to the accumulation of fat around the abdomen, disorders of the lungs, the heart may occur. The metabolism also changes. This form of obesity promotes hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease.

Gynoid obesity, or pear-shaped obesity

This mainly affects women and concentrates on those parts of the body from which it is most difficult to lose weight, namely around the hips and buttocks. Other parts remain unchanged. This way of putting on weight is very often determined by hormonal disorders or genetic conditions. Compared with abdominal obesity, it is not so dangerous for health. Only because of the specific distribution of fat tissue, getting rid of it is not so easy.