Wimalawansa S.J.,Endocrinology Metabolism and Nutrition
Expert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013
Obesity is one of the key noncommunicable diseases leading to significant comorbidities. In recent years, obesity has become a major public health issue and has threatened the wellbeing of millions of patients. Although there are multiple reasons for people becoming obese, sustained positive energy balance - energy intake is greater than energy expenditure - is the key for accumulating excess bodyfat. Prevention of obesity by lifestyle changes, healthy eating and increased physical activity are more cost effective than pharmacotherapy, bariatric surgery or ultimately treating complications of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Not all patients with obesity experience complications such as T2DM. The distribution of bodyfat is important in determining whether a person is obese and healthy or needs medical attention; however, the use of BMI alone will not differentiate this. Obesity patients with excess abdominal fat have the highest risk for T2DM, insulin resistance and thus, higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Obesity-associated complications can be reversed through healthy eating habits and increased duration and intensity of physical activity. Increasing work- and leisure-related physical activities increase the energy expenditure, having salutary effects on weightloss programs. Although treating symptoms of obesity and related disorders is important, it is not a solution for the obesity epidemic. Causes that lead to weight-gain need to be identified in individual patients, who should be educated about the causes of weight gain and ways to prevent it, and be provided with simple and practical interventions to lose weight. © 2013 2013 Expert Reviews Ltd.