obese person


What is obesity?

Obesity is a condition where you carry excess body fat that can frequently cause medical problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. It results from a number of genetic and lifestyle factors. If someone is obese, their heart is working harder to pump blood around their entire body which puts pressure on the organ.

The distribution of fat is also important when assessing obesity. For example; abdominal obesity (excess fat around your waist) is related to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of obesity?

People with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more are classified as obese. Obesity is commonly measured by this index, which adjusts you weight for your height

Your BMI is calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in metres). The ranges below show healthy, at risk and unhealthy BMI levels:

Calculate your BMI below

What are the causes of obesity?

Obesity occurs when you consume more calories than you burn. While there are genetic, behavioural and hormonal influences that can affect body weight, the main causes of obesity are:

How is obesity diagnosed?

The best way to detect whether you are obese is to calculate your BMI as. If you are in the obese range, your doctor may want to perform some further tests to determine how much weight you need to lose and what health conditions you are at risk of. These additional tests may include:

How can obesity be treated?

The goal of obesity treatment is to lose and maintain a healthy weight. All reputable weight-loss programs require lifestyle changes through eating habits and physical activity, and will be tailored to suit individual needs. Treatment tools include:

How can you prevent obesity?

It is important to be mindful of the ways you can prevent excess weight gain, whether you are a healthy weight or at risk of obesity. The steps to prevention include:

Ask your doctor for a heart health check which looks at the key risk signs. Download our Heart Health Guide Guide to take with you to your next doctor's appointment.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years