Obesity literally means "abnormal amount of fat on the body".

A person is obese when their body mass index (BMI) is over 30 kg/m2.

People with a BMI between 28 and 30 are described as overweight.

Obesity is increasing in our society. About 20% of adults in this country are obese and a further 30% are overweight. Excessive weight can seriously affect your health.

Obesity is associated with a range of serious physical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It is also thought to play a significant role in cancer, sexual dysfunction, muscle and bone and joint problems and psychological problems.


  • Dietary advice
  • Behaviour modification
  • Counselling
  • Exercise
  • Surgery (stomach size reduction is performed very rarely as a last resort)
  • Orlistat (Xenical)
  • Reductil (sibutramine) - serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor which acts centrally in the brain. It increases the speed at which the body feels full, encouraging weight loss.
If you need advice on issues associated with obesity please contact your practice nurse or a doctor.

Further information

This article published on
25 November 2005

Next review date 11/1/2013


Diet and exercise
Diet and exercise
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Stomach and digestion

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