Overweight & Obesity

New reports provide guidance for obesity care

Advocates for obesity prevention and treatment have designed two new resources for medical educators, healthcare providers and community programs that will enhance the level of care for patients, according to two new studies ...

Medical research

Could coffee be the secret to fighting obesity?

Scientists from the University of Nottingham have discovered that drinking a cup of coffee can stimulate 'brown fat', the body's own fat-fighting defenses, which could be the key to tackling obesity and diabetes.

Overweight & Obesity

Lifelong obesity linked to physical difficulties aged 50

People who are obese from childhood through to middle age are more than twice as likely to have difficulty with daily tasks such as lifting, climbing stairs and carrying shopping by the time they are 50, a new UCL study has ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Abdominal obesity may raise risk for psoriasis

(HealthDay)—Abdominal obesity may increase the risk for psoriasis, according to a study published online May 31 in the Journal of Dermatology.

Genetics

Researchers find new mutation in the leptin gene

The global obesity epidemic is so far-reaching it now has an overarching name: globesity. Texas Biomed Staff Scientist Raul Bastarrachea, M.D., is part of a team that discovered a new mutation in the gene that regulates the ...

Medical research

Study reveals biology of leptin, the hunger hormone

In a new study, Yale researchers offer insight into leptin, a hormone that plays a key role in appetite, overeating, and obesity. Their findings advance knowledge about leptin and weight gain, and also suggest a potential ...

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Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Body mass index (BMI), a measurement which compares weight and height, defines people as overweight (pre-obese) if their BMI is between 25 and 30 kg/m2, and obese when it is greater than 30 kg/m2.

Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food energy intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility, although a few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications or psychiatric illness. Evidence to support the view that some obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is limited; on average obese people have a greater energy expenditure than their thin counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.

Dieting and physical exercise are the mainstays of treatment for obesity. Moreover, it is important to improve diet quality by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods such as those high in fat and sugars, and by increasing the intake of dietary fiber. To supplement this, or in case of failure, anti-obesity drugs may be taken to reduce appetite or inhibit fat absorption. In severe cases, surgery is performed or an intragastric balloon is placed to reduce stomach volume and/or bowel length, leading to earlier satiation and reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing prevalence in adults and children, and authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. Obesity is stigmatized in much of the modern world (particularly in the Western world), though it was widely perceived as a symbol of wealth and fertility at other times in history, and still is in some parts of the world.

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