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Obesity: Causes, consequences and treatment

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22 May 2018
l'obésité : causes, conséquences et traitements

Obesity is excess weight caused by an increase in fat mass (percentage of this theoretical fat in the body of a human being).

The following indicators allow specialists to measure the excess weight and obesity of a person:

Body Mass Index (BMI): This index is calculated by dividing weight by height squared.
For example if you measure 1.70M to 80kg
BMI= 80 / (1.7*1.7) = 27,68
Index of body fat (IAC): This index is calculated by measuring the hip circumference at the navel to be compared subsequently, with the person's waist.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity has 3 different levels:
Overweight: when BMI is between 25 and 30
Obesity: when BMI is between 30 and 40
Morbid obesity: when BMI exceeds 40
It should be noted that a normal BMI should be between 18.5 and 25.

The source considers that a mere excess in weight (overweight) is an aggravation factor for many diseases.
However, obesity and morbid obesity are directly associated with diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In addition to physically suffering, obesity affects the daily life of the patient. Indeed, he/she suffers continuous difficulties with movement and being able to perform the most mundane daily tasks. Obesity also has an important social and psychological impact on the patient.

Some statistics

Over the past twenty years, a rise of obesity was recognized internationally not only in rich environments but also amongst the poor.
Indeed, nearly 2 billion adults worldwide are overweight with about half being considered "obese" according to WHO statistics for the year 2016.
So, what are the causes of obesity and how to pull through it?

The causes of obesity

The causes of obesity can vary from one person to another. However, experts have managed to establish a list of factors that may lead to short, medium or long term, obesity
Excessive intake of caloric foods
Genetic predisposition
The lack of sport
The economic situation, social or family (stress can be considered in some cases as an obesity trigger factor)
Food marketing (nowadays, advertising campaigns usually focus on foods that are mostly harmful to our health, according experts)

Treatments and prevention against obesity

Obesity is a significant health risk.
Indeed, in adults this disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced life expectancy, and can cause in many cases diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer and breast cancer.
In children, obesity and even  excess weight may increase the risk of suffering from respiratory problems, onset diabetes in adulthood, fractures, in addition to the development of insulin resistance.
Socially and psychologically, obesity is a trigger factor in some cases of depression in children and adults.
This is why the treatment of obesity is an obligation and not an option.

To fight against this disease, it is recommended:
To lose weight through a healthy, balanced diet combined with regular exercise. This step can be initiated with the help of a nutrition specialist.
To have psychological treatment to avoid any risk of depression
In some cases, cosmetic surgeries become an essential step in the fight against obesity
However, it is imperative to know, first of all, if one is obese.

Cosmetic surgery, a necessary step?

In some cases of obesity, cosmetic surgery can be a necessary alternative:
After weight loss and weight stability period, experts usually opt for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to remove excess skin and subcutaneous adipose tissue which can cause psychological, aesthetic or mechanical problems.
When some fatty deposits persist after a period of weight loss, liposuction is recommended. It consists in sucking the fatty tissue by a cannula.

Obesity is a disease that affects a growing number of people around the world and can cause major health problems. If you are overweight or suffer from obesity, your doctor will be your best ally in your weight loss approach.