Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a
negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems.
Dieting and exercising are the main treatments for obesity. Diet quality can be improved by
reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods, such as those high in fat and sugars, and by increasing
the intake of dietary fiber. Anti-obesity drugs may be taken to reduce appetite or decrease fat
absorption. If diet, exercise, and medication are not effective, a gastric balloon may assist with weight
loss, or surgery may be performed to reduce stomach volume and/or bowel length, leading to feeling
full earlier and a reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food.
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. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food
energy intake, lack of physical activity, and in few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine
disorders, medications, or psychiatric illness.
People are considered obese when their body mass index (BMI) exceeds 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 a leading preventable cause of death worldwide,
with increasing rates in adults and children and is one of the most serious public health problems of
the 21st century.
Diets to promote weight loss are generally divided into four categories: low-fat, low-carbohydrate,
low-calorie, and very low calorie. A meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials found no
difference between three of the main diet types (low calorie, low carbohydrate, and low fat), with a
2 to 4 kilogram weight loss in all studies. At two years these three methods resulted in similar
weight loss irrespective of the macronutrients emphasized. High protein diets do not appear to make
any difference. A diet high in simple sugars such as those in soft drinks increases weight.
Very low calorie diets provide 200–800 kcal/day, maintaining protein intake but limiting
calories from both fat and carbohydrates. They subject the body to starvation and produce an average
weekly weight loss of 1.5–2.5 kilograms (3.3–5.5 lb). These diets are not recommended for general
use as they are associated with adverse side effects such as loss of lean muscle mass, increased
risks of gout, and electrolyte imbalances. People attempting these diets must be monitored closely
by a physician to prevent complications.
Muscles consume energy derived from both fat and glycogen, due to the large size of leg muscles,
walking, running, and cycling are the most effective means of exercise to reduce body fat. Exercise
affects macronutrient balance. During moderate exercise, equivalent to a brisk walk, there is a shift
to greater use of fat as a fuel. American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of
moderate exercise at least 5 days a week.
Exercising alone led to limited weight loss but together in combination with diet, results
in a 1 kilogram weight loss over dieting alone. High levels of physical activity seem to be necessary
to maintain weight loss
Weight loss programs
Weight loss programs often promote lifestyle changes and diet modification. This may involve
eating smaller meals, cutting down on certain types of food, and making a conscious effort to exercise
more. These programs also enable people to connect with a group of others who are attempting to lose
weight, in the hopes that participants will form mutually motivating and encouraging relationships.
In addition there are a large number of diet products and programs available on the internet.
These diet programs may be web based programs, or programs that are downloaded by the dieter.
There exist Several anti-obesity medications are currently approved by the FDA for long term use.
Please check with you local health provider for the best weight loss medicine for you. Few Weight
loss medicines have side effects
Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is the use of surgical intervention in the treatment
of obesity. As every operation may have complications, surgery is only recommended for severely
obese people (BMI > 40) who have failed to lose weight following dietary modification and
pharmacological treatment. Weight loss surgery relies on various principles such as reducing the
volume of the stomach, which produces an earlier sense of satiation, and reducing the length of
bowel that comes into contact with food (gastric bypass surgery), which directly reduces absorption.
Band surgery is reversible, while bowel shortening operations are not. Some procedures can be performed
laparoscopically. Complications from weight loss surgery are frequent. Surgery for severe obesity is
associated with long-term weight loss and decreased overall mortality.
It is recommended to consult your local health authorities before starting with any medicine,
exercise or diet plan.
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