Obesity: What, Why And Treatment

Obesity in our days is one of the most important nutritional problems in western societies. Many factors seem to contribute to increasing the frequency of obesity and many types of treatment have been tried, which are likely to be successful as long as the person ultimately change his eating habits.

Obesity is an epidemic and can not be solved with just dieting. Prevention seems to be the most effective and most long.

It has been shown that obesity increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and weight loss even 5-10% can reduce risk factors and blood pressure.

In short, obesity is a serious threat to health and insidious enemy of the aesthetics of the body. While in prehistoric times can play the role of a fat depot and ensure survival in times of famine, the only guarantee today is to reduce the life expectancy of the individual.

When it occurs?

Obesity can occur throughout the life of the individual. Sometimes it can take on dramatic proportions and the situation is described as malignant obesity

Why it occurs?

Obesity is characterized by excessive deposition of fat in the body. Normally the fat in whole, is 15-20% of body weight for men and 20-25% for women. In the obesity rates that can reach 40%, and in rare cases and 70% (malignant obesity). The distribution of this fat is genetically determined (structural fat) and vary by gender. Varies during puberty, at the time that developed and secondary sex characteristics.

What is the cause?

There are various factors causing obesity such as:

  • Genetic factors
  • Large caloric intake
  • Reduced physical activity
  • Taking medicines
  • Psychological factors

Why western people are obese?

People in western societies do not realize that obesity is a disease.

After the Second World War, people had a significant deprivation of food, and now literally we are “on the abundance of food”.

Unfortunately we do not have proper information on a broad scale when it comes to food choices. Only in recent years people start to realize that the diet should be based on a lot of vegetables, legumes, fruits, fish and small amounts of meat and its products, the diet is linked to good health, less a violation of cardiovascular system against atherosclerosis, fewer tumors.

In addition only in recent years people begun to realize the value of physical activity, particularly the value of simple walking.

Treatment of obesity

Change your eating habits

The main goal of treatment of obesity remains the weight loss, which can only be achieved by creating a negative energy balance by reducing the amount of food intake at 500-1000 calories less than the daily requirement.

Thus, new instructions, focusing on general diets with little or no reference to percentages and numbers. The purpose of the diet to maintain normal body weight, diet with healthy foods, maintaining low cholesterol levels and blood pressure regulation.

Proposed are two meals a week in large fish like tuna or salmon, or canned fish such as sardines or tuna. The proposal is based on research findings, indicating that the increased amount of omega-3 fatty acid containing fish may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Daily intake of cholesterol down to 300 mg for most people and for those who have heart problems or high blood pressure, cholesterol intake, set at 200 mg a day.

Permitted in healthy adults consuming an egg a day if the rest of cholesterol intake is limited, since according to other surveys, the consumption of egg yolk especially, do not increase the levels of blood cholesterol at all.

Other proposals relating to the limitation of fat processed foods such as biscuits, crackers, margarine, low-salt to 6 gr (about one teaspoon) per day and limiting alcohol to one drink per day for women and two for men.

Note also that the portion sizes, plays an important role in the development of obesity, and foods containing small amounts of fat, are not necessarily low in calories before proposing fast walking at least 30 minutes a day, for both physical activity as and calorie consumption.

Physical exercise

An obese individual will need to increase physical activity, which helps in maximum fat loss while maintaining or strengthening muscles. The higher the percentage of lean body mass, the greater is the basal metabolism. That is, quite simply, “burn” more calories.


The pharmaceutical treatment of obesity should be the second step in treatment. The obese person should resort to medication only when dietary treatment has been shown to fail in the treatment of obesity. The use of drugs for the treatment of obesity is combined with a plethora of side effects.

It should be noted that the use of anti-obesity drugs do not relieve the obese person from the need to undergo a diet and exercise. Just helps in weight loss and prevent relapse.


Third and last step in the treatment of obesity may be a surgical treatment. The obese person can be treated surgically, only when all other treatment attempts have failed or when it comes to morbid obesity, where risks to health and life of the individual is increased.