Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties during sleep, certain types of cancer, andosteoarthritis. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive dietary calories, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility, although a few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrinedisorders, 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 agreater energy expenditure than their thin counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.
The primary treatment for obesity is dieting and physical exercise. Tosupplement 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 reducestomach 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 increasingprevalence 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 the modern Western world, though it has beenperceived as a symbol of wealth and fertility at other times in history, and still is in many parts of Africa.
Jebb S. and Wells J. Measuring body composition in adults and children In:Peter G....