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Obesity is the condition in which excess fat has accumulated in the body (mostly in subcutaneous tissues). clinical obesity is considered to be present when a person has a BMI of over 30 (Oxford Dictionary of Medicine). It is becoming increasing common in western societies. Although predominantly caused by over-eating, there may be a genetic aspect too. Obesity is a risk factor for a number of diseases including arthritis, heart disease and depression. It is a major area of research because it is so endemic and possible complications, which cost millions each year.