General or Other | Fitness & Sports Medicine | Overweight (Symptom)


The term overweight is used in two different ways. In a sense, is an imprecise way of saying someone is heavy. The other sense of overweight is more precise and designates a state between normal weight and obesity.

Overweight can be also defined in terms of body mass index (BMI), which is the weight of a person in kilograms (kg) divided by your height in meters (m) squared. Since the BMI describes body weight relative to height, which correlates strongly (in adults) with total body fat. Overweight is a BMI of 27. 3% or more for women and 27. 8% or more for men. Obesity is a BMI of 30 and above.


Overweight develops gradually from poor diet and lifestyle choices and, to some extent, it can be inherited genetically. Lifestyle choices are an important factor in influencing weight. Eating more calories than one needs may be down to unhealthy food choices. Lack of physical activity is another important factor that is related to obesity. Some genetic conditions can increase appetite as well as medical conditions such as Cushing's syndrome (rare disorder that causes an over-production of steroid hormones), an under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The best way to treat overweight is to reduce the amount of calories in the daily diet and to exercise regularly. The type of diet and exercise that will benefit each person, and that one can follow safely, will vary from person to person. The General Practitioner should be consulted before making any significant changes in lifestyle.