Obesity among both children and adults is becoming increasingly common worldwide, and the health risks associated with it have far-reaching effects over the life span. Obesity is, in a strict sense, a medical diagnosis determined by a person’s body mass index (BMI), which is calculated using a standard formula that considers weight relative to height. Adults are considered obese when their BMI is over 30 and overweight when their BMI is between 25 and 29.9. In children and adolescents, obesity is defined as having a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex; overweight is defined as having a BMI between the 85th and 94.9th percentile. This entry first provides statistics about the prevalence of obesity and its ...

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