ABC Medical Center > Obesity

What is Obesity?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a chronic disease in which there is an excessive accumulation of lipids in the body, which can trigger a series of complications and comorbidities that seriously affect health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) official figures, as of 1975, there are three times more obese patients worldwide regardless of sex, race, age, or social status.

Body weight is the result of the sum of muscle mass, bones, fat, and water in the body. When there is too much adipose tissue, weight increases, and health begins to deteriorate.

When the balance between a person’s weight and height is lost, it is considered a case of obesity.

The main cause of obesity is the intake of a greater number of calories than the calories that are burned with physical activity. This caloric surplus is transformed into fat, forming deposits in the body. However, there are other reasons, such as:

  • Metabolic: body imbalances that promote the development of obesity.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: lack of physical activity that promotes body fat accumulation.
  • Genetics: family history of obesity.
  • Eating habits: consuming large amounts of fats, sugars, carbohydrates, and processed foods.
  • Age: over the years, muscle mass is lost and the metabolism slows down, causing a greater accumulation of fat.
  • Hormonal disorders: some hormonal imbalances cause weight gain, such as hypothyroidism.
  • Pregnancy: although it is normal to gain weight during pregnancy, it should also be normal to return to the previous weight at the end of this stage, but in many cases, this does not happen and mothers become chronically obese.
  • Menopause: when hormonal changes occur, women tend to gain weight.

In adults, overweight and obesity are determined by the body mass index (BMI), an indicator created to measure the balance between weight and height to see if there is a balance between the two.

The WHO establishes the parameters of overweight and obesity with the following values:

  • Overweight: BMI equal to 25 or higher.
  • Obesity: BMI equal to 30 or higher.

In the case of children, age is also considered to define overweight or obesity.

Having a high body mass index can trigger serious conditions, such as:

  • Stroke.
  • Cardiovascular pathologies.
  • Cancer.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Edema.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Sexual dysfunctions.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Infectious osteoarthritis.

Additionally, obesity can lead to depression, low self-esteem, disabilities, and social isolation.

Diagnosis and treatment Obesity

If you are obese, it is important that you see a specialist to assess your case and analyze what would be the best treatment to help you lose weight. In addition to the medical history, your doctor will perform a physical examination and request laboratory tests to identify if there is any disease that is contributing to weight gain.

Obesity treatment involves making lifestyle changes, mainly in eating habits, as well as integrating a physical activity program. In case the treatment does not work, your doctor will study the possibility of resorting to bariatric surgery to help you lose excess weight.

Bariatric surgery is reliable and can be laparoscopic, so recovery will be faster and with fewer risks. With it, it is possible to lose between 50% and 100% of excess weight in the first year. The risk of complications derived from the procedure is low, but the intake of vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements is required for extended periods.

At the Nutrition & Obesity Center, we offer you comprehensive care according to your needs to help you have a healthy lifestyle, control your weight, change your body composition, prevent and manage associated diseases, as well as improve your physical and sports performance.

We have specialized schemes for accelerated and sustained weight loss under the supervision of a multidisciplinary team, based on safe and scientifically supported methods.


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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.