Obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight with a high degree of body fat.
The risks of obesity
Being obese increases your risk of developing a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer and colon cancer stroke
In addition, obesity can damage your quality of life and can often trigger depression.
There are goals in the treatment of obesity:
- to prevent further weight gain and avoid regaining any lost weight
- to gradually lose weight through a combination of a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise
- to improve your general state of health and reduce your risk of obesity-related complications
Some people prefer a one-to one consultation with a trainer or dietician, others prefer taking part in a weight-loss group, which can be organised by the local primary care trust (PCT) or a commercial organisation.
Many people will also need help examining and changing unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaviour.
Weight loss surgery like a gastric band or gastric bypass operation is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese that will not respond to non-surgical treatments, such as lifestyle changes.
The cause of most cases of obesity is the person eats more calories than they burn off and the unused calories are turned into fat. Modern lifestyle does not help:
- There is easy access to cheap, high-energy food that is often aggressively marketed to people.
- People’s lifestyles and jobs are much less active than in the past and many leisure activities such as watching television, playing video games and browsing the internet are usually done sitting down.
- People drive or use public transport and walk a lot less than they used to.