What is Obesity?

Obesity is characterized by an excessive accumulation of body fat. It is defined clinically by measures that "estimate" adiposity from body weight, body structure, and height. (1)

It is no longer considered a cosmetic problem caused by overeating and a lack of self-control. The World Health Organization (WHO.), Together with national and international medical and scientific societies, now recognize obesity as a chronic progressive disease resulting from multiple environmental and genetic factors.

It is a number one risk factor, which can be controlled, and is directly related to many diseases (called co-morbidities) such as hypertension, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, strokes, infertility, heart attacks and certain types of cancers.

The management of obesity has become the fundamental factor for the prevention of many diseases and the treatment of many patients who already suffer from them.

Obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). Therefore, there has been a parallel increase in the prevalence of T2DM, currently at 9% worldwide and projected to reach 12% by 2025. Given the growing population, the global burden is likely of diabetes increase by more than 50% in the next decade. The metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease and heart failure. (3)

Causes of Obesity

Although there are genetic, behavioral, metabolic, and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when more calories are ingested than are burned with exercise and normal daily activities. The body stores these excess calories in the form of fat.

Obesity is usually the result of a combination of causes and contributing factors such as the following:

Consequences of Obesity

Some of the diseases and complications related to Obesity are the following:

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