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These two terms are commonly used synonymously by the public. However, Obesity 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasnthey are different from each other in sports medicine and fitness.

Being a growing concern in the world and among health professionals, obesity is a state of excess adipose tissue mass. Basically, it specifically refers to an excessive amount of fat tissue, while overweight specifically refers to an excessive amount of body weight that may come from muscles, fat tissues, bones, or water. In other words, all obese people are overweight, but not all overweight people are obese.

Overweight is described as BMI between 25 and 30.



Body Mass Index (BMI):


BMI is an anthropometric measurement to evaluate normalcy for body weight. BMI is calculated as:

Body mass index 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasn



Obesity Class



18.5 – 24.9

Healthy weight

25.0 – 29.9


30.0 – 34.90

Obesity, class I

35.0 – 39.90

Obesity, class II


Obesity, class III


Though BMI is used worldwide to assess the degree of obesity, it has some limitations:

a) It fails to take into consideration the percentage of body fat. A person with BMI between 25 and 30 is not necessarily overweight, because the person could have more muscle mass.

b) It fails to predict accurately the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

Consequences of Obesity:


Obesity is not considered a disease, but it could lead to many diseases. This is why obesity is sometimes called “mother of the diseases”. Some obesity – related health conditions have been listed below:

  1. Cardiovascular Obesity 2 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasn
    1. Hypertension.
    2. Congestive heart failure.
    3. Heart attack.
    4. Atherosclerosis
  2. Respiratory
    1. Asthma
    2. Obstructive sleep apnea.
    3. Pickwickian syndrome.
  3. Endocrine
    1. Diabetes.
    2. Metabolic syndrome.
    3. High levels of LDL and triglyceride.
    4. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
  4. Gastrointestinal
    1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
    2. Colon cancer.
    3. Hernias.
    4. Gallstones.
    5. Fatty liver.
    6. Liver cancer.
    7. Pancreas cancer.
  5. Musculoskeletal
    1. Low back pain.
    2. Gout.
    3. Osteoarthritis.
    4. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
  6. Genitourinary
    1. Breast cancer.
    2. Uterine cancer.
    3. Kidney diseases.
    4. Infertility.
    5. Urinary stress incontinence.
  7. Neurologic
    1. Stroke.
    2. Dementia.
    3. Migraine.
    4. Multiple sclerosis.
  8. Dermatological
    1. Stretch mark.
    2. Cellulite.
    3. Lymphedema.
    4. Intertrigo.
    5. Carbuncles.
    6. Hidradenitis suppurativa.

    i. Psychological

  1. Depression.
  2. Social stigmatization.
  3. Body image disorder.