Obesity involves excess weight gain and an abnormal fat accumulation, usually 20 percent or more over an individual's ideal body weight. Humans take in energy from food and drinks, which is used for the body's natural processes and for physical activity. People gain weight if they take in more energy than they use and lose weight if they take in less energy than they use. Excess energy is stored mostly as body fat, laid down at various sites around the body, regardless of whether the excess energy comes from carbohydrates, fats, or proteins, or from alcoholic drinks.
As obesity has become a major health problem in the United States, bariatrics became a separate medical branch of medicine that deals with the study, treatment of obesity and related disorders.
The prevalence of obesity has dramatically increased in recent decades. Among children, the prevalence of obesity increased too. Obesity and its associated problems, have also a large economic impact on health care system, with the costs.
Overall risk must take into account the potential presence of other risk factors. Risks for certain conditions increase as weight increases. Some diseases or risk factors associated with obesity, place patients at a high absolute risk for consequent mortality. According to the Centers for Disease Control the following are health consequences of obesity:
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
- Liver and gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
Obesity is a chronic disease, that's why patients must understand that successful treatment requires a lifelong effort. The most effective treatment for obesity is behavior and lifestyle modification under the guidance of a physician or weight management specialist. It is difficult for most patients to continue to lose weight or prevent further weight gain.
The following guidelines can help in the management of obesity:
- An appropriate goal is the prevention of weight gain.
- A combination of diet modification, increased physical activity, and behavioral therapy can be effective.
Physical activity also reduces the risk of heart disease, at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity daily.
Most overweight and obese people should adopt long-term nutritional adjustments to reduce caloric intake. Dietary therapy includes moderate caloric reduction for modifying diets to achieve this goal. People must be educated about food composition, labeling, preparation, and portion size.
Most people are lazy and do nothing to lose weight and then suffer health consequences. People buy products, like books that teach them how to lose weight but they do nothing with them.