Understanding the Obesity Epidemic and how to treat it

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health. It is defined by body mass index (BMI) and further evaluated in terms of fat distribution via the waist-hip ratio and total cardiovascular risk factors.

Obesity is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little. If you consume high amounts of energy, particularly fat and sugars, but do not burn off the energy through exercise and physical activity, much of the surplus energy will be stored by the body as fat.
Obesity has been observed throughout human history.Many early depictions of the human form in art and sculpture appear obese. However, it was not until the 20th century that obesity became common, so much that, in 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally recognized obesity as a global epidemic.
2.1 billion people, nearly 30% of the world’s population are eather obese or overweight, according to a new, first-of-its kind analysis of trend data from 188 countries. The rise in global obesity rates over the last three decades has been substantial and widespread, presenting a major public health epidemic in both the developed and the developing world.
The study was conducted by an international consortium of researchers led by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Overweight is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI), or weight-to-height ratio, greater than or equal to 25 and lower than 30, while obesity is defined as having a BMI equal to greater than 30.


The main treatment for obesity is a reduced-calorie diet and an exercise plan. Less common treatments include weight loss medicine and surgery.
The best way to treat obesity is to eat healty reduced-calories died and exercise regularly.
To do this you should:

  • Eat a balanced calorie-controlled diet as recommended by a GP or weight loss management health professionals, such as a dietitian.
  • Join a local weight loss group.
  • Take up activities such as fast walking, jogging, swimming or tennis for 150 to 300 minutes a week.
  • Eat slowly and avoid situations where you know you could be tempted to overeat.

You may also benefit from receiving psyhological support from a trained healthcare professional to help change the way you think about food and eating.
If lifestyle changes alone do not help you lose weight, a medicine called orlistat may be recommended.
If taken correctly, this medicine works by reducing the amount of fat you absorb during digestion.Your GP will know whether orlstat is suitable for you.
In some cases, weight loss surgery may be recommended.

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