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Overview - Obesity

Obesity is a condition where your weight affects your health. It is a long-term (chronic) condition with a wide range of causes. It usually develops over time. 

Talk to your GP if your weight has a negative impact on your life.

There is separate advice if you are concerned about your child’s weight.

How to find out if you have obesity

Your GP will check: 

They may diagnose you with obesity if you have a high BMI and any health problems linked to obesity.

Diagnosing obesity

Causes of obesity

There is no single cause of obesity. But there are some risk factors.

Some of these may be outside your control. You can develop obesity even if you eat well and are active.

Causes of obesity

Treating obesity

Things you can do to manage obesity include:

Managing obesity will improve your quality of life. It will also cut your risk of weight-related health problems. It's not just about losing weight.

You may also need other treatments for obesity.

These can include:

  • referrals to other healthcare professionals
  • specialist weight management programmes
  • medicine
  • surgery

Your GP will recommend the best treatments for you. 

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 9 August 2022
Next review due: 9 August 2025