Obesity and Overweight Health Risks
Obesity involves excessive 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 become a separate medical branch of medicine that deals with the study, treatment of obesity and related disorders. The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically 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 subsequent 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)
- An appropriate goal is the prevention of weight gain.
- A combination of diet modification, increased physical activity, and behavior therapy can be effective.
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