Unnatural or excessive accumulation of fat is known as obesity or overweightness, which can be a threat to an individual’s health. Diffuse obesity and abdominal obesity, both entail higher risks of mortality. Generally, Body Mass Index (BMI) is a convenient indicator for categorization of overweightness and obesity in adults, which can be calculated by division of body mass (kg) by square of height (m) (kg/m2). According to the definition by World Health Organization (WHO), BMI≥25 is considered overweight and BMI ≥30 obese. In 2005, 1.6 billion individuals over 15 years of age were overweight and at least 400 million obese, and at least 20 million children younger than 5 were overweight. Currently, overweightness and obesity is on the rise in low or and middle income countries.
The main cause of obesity and overweightness is an imbalance in caloric intake and output. Obesity can have dangerous consequences like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, especially osteoarthritis and some types of cancer, like cancers of endometrium, breast and colon.
To lose weight and treat obesity, several pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments exist, none of which have definitive results. In various traditional schools of medicine, including Indian, cumin has been used in products for weight loss, which seems to be due to its thermogenic properties; i.e. it causes lipolysis by an increase in the rate of metabolism in the body.