The Most Common Types of Obesity Based on Causes and BMI

Different Types of Obesity

To solve a problem, first, you need to know its causes. Obesity, as a serious risk factor for many diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, high blood glucose, liver cancer, and many more health issues, is a big challenge for almost 650 million adults in the world. But to overcome this barrier, first, you need to know the types of obesity, especially based on causes because then you will know what is causing obesity and if you change or eliminate it, you will get rid of obesity forever.

Types of Obesity Based on Causes

Each overweight or obese individual has their own conditions and the causes of obesity differ from person to person. For instance, a person is overweight mainly because there’s a lot of stress in their life and their way to cope with stress is eating. The solution for this individual is to find other ways for stress management and replace them with nervous-eating.

Some people deal with excess weight because of hormonal imbalance. What’s the solution? Visiting a specialist, taking medical tests, and medication and treatment for hormonal balance.

 1- Excessive Intakes of Food

This is the most common reason for obesity and it’s caused by individuals eating too much food containing fat and sugar. When your body absorbs more calories than it needs and you don’t do enough exercise to burn the extra amount, you start to gain weight.

To address this issue, you need to find a systematic solution to control your appetite. Healthy eating habits and exercise are two main factors in the termination of obesity. You can follow the eating guide for bariatric patients. You don’t have to follow the liquid diet and pureed foods, especially at the beginning, but phases 3 and 4 give you helpful instructions on what to eat and how to eat.

Meeting a dietitian is very much recommended.

2- Nervous Eating

Eating more than what your body needs usually has psychological reasons. One of the ways people react to stress, anxiety, or depression is eating.

To resolve obesity caused by nervous eating you need to visit a psychologist and find other ways to control your stress.

Doing other relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation helps a lot. You might find yourself too busy to devote some time to these activities. But the time and energy stress takes away from you is even more. Moreover, less stress boosts your efficiency.

3- Genetics

This situation occurs in families whose genes include a single gene that causes an inheritance pattern of obesity. MC4R is the most common gene that results in obesity. If the children of a family are affected by this gene, they become extremely hungry and overeating brings about obesity.

So far, researchers and doctors have found 50 genes associated with obesity. However, most of these genes had very small effects.

Don’t get disappointed because it doesn’t mean you can’t control your genes. According to a study, individuals with one of the common genes that causes obesity, the FTO gene variant, could control and reduce the risk of obesity by physical activity. Also, some proteins affect gene expressions. So, there’s a way to control the genes. Just visit a specialist, take the tests, and follow their prescription.

4- Hormonal Imbalance

The type of obesity that is caused by hormonal changes usually occurs in women during the adolescence or menopause periods.

Drinking and smoking are the two main activities that intensify this situation. Lack of exercise also prevents your body from regulating body fat distribution.

Hormonal imbalance is observable in the results of check-up tests. During sensitive periods of your life, you should be alert of probable obesity and your inclination toward unhealthy habits such as overeating.

5- Lack of Activity

This happens when your physical activity reduces due to changes in your lifestyle. For instance, if you start a 9 to 5 desk job while your previous one required a lot of activity.

Athletes who have to stop working out face fat storage, especially in the parts of their bodies that were more active before.

To avoid gaining weight in these situations, you should break your meals into small portions of healthy food and feed your body every one or two hours. Also, set alarms to do short, simple activities such as walking in the middle of the day during your breaks or lunchtime.

Types of Obesity Based on BMI

Types of obesity

Despite all the controversies, BMI (Body Mass Index) is still one of the major criteria for categorizing obesity. BMI is a value derived from the mass and height of a person.


  • BMI less than 18.5 ==> underweight
  • BMI between 18.5 and 25 ==> normal weight
  • BMI between 25.0 and 30 ==> overweight
  • BMI 30 or higher ==> obese

Based on these categories, there are three types of obesity:


  • Class 1: BMI of 30 to < 35
  • Class 2: BMI of 35 to < 40
  • Class 3: BMI of 40 or higher. Class 3 obesity is sometimes categorized as “severe” obesity.
An Average Adult Body Mass Index (BMI)
Height Weight Range BMI Considered
5′ 9″ 124 lbs or less Below 18.5 Underweight
125 lbs to 168 lbs 18.5 to 24.9 Healthy weight
169 lbs to 202 lbs 25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
203 lbs or more 30 or higher Obesity
271 lbs or more 40 or higher Class 3 Obesity

Note: BMI is not the only factor that determines you’re healthy or not. An expert health care provider can check your health status by performing a series of medical tests.

For patients who want to undergo bariatric surgery, BMI is a determining factor.

Final Word

Obesity is not caused solely by one factor, but it’s a multi-faceted situation that can be influenced by both genes and environmental factors.

To be able to get rid of it, you need to find the true sources of your gain weight and try to solve them while getting help from professionals. Bariatric surgery is also one of the options obese individuals have, but it’s absolutely not the first one and it’s not for everyone. Find out whether you’re eligible for weight loss surgery or not.

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