What's the treatment of obesity?
The mainstay of treatment for obesity is an energy-limited diet and increased exercise. Although adherence to this regimen can cure obesity, a large segment of patients is unable to make the required sacrifices. There might be an additional
behavioral factor at the brain level "forbidding" obesity patients from losing too much weight.
Much research focusses on new drugs to combat obesity, which is seen as the biggest health problem facing developed countries. Some nutritionists feel that these these research funds would be better devoted to advice on good nutrition, healthy eating and promoting a more active lifestyle. Medication prescribed for diet/exercise-resistant obesity is orlistat (Xenical®, reduced intestinal fat absorption by inhibiting pancreatic lipase) and sibutramine (Reductil®, Medaria®, an anorectic).
In the presence of diabetes mellitus, there is evidence that the anti-diabetic drug metformin (Glucophage®) can assist in weight loss - rather than sulfonylurea derivatives and insulin, which often lead to further weight gain. The thiazolidinediones (rosiglitazone or pioglitazone) can cause slight weight gain, but decrease the "pathologic" form of abdominal fat, and are therefore often used in obese diabetics. Increasingly, surgery is being used to limit stomach capacity (and thus food intake); this can happen laparoscopically. Ileal bypass reduces the length of the intestine and hence absorbing surface, but has more complications.
A weight loss of 5 or 10kg among obese patients has a very positive effect on the risk of heart and blood-vessel diseases. The weight loss will not only reduce blood pressure and blood-cholesterol, but also have a beneficial impact on obesity-related diseases. The help of a dietitian can result in weight-loss of 5 to 10kg in more than 90 per cent of patients put on regular diets of, for instance, 1500 to 2000 kilocalories per day, based on calorie-counting. Another option to attain the same result involves changing to an unlimited consumption of low-fat foods. After losing weight, thorough guidance on shopping and preparation of foods with a fat-energy-percentage of 20 to 25 per cent is of paramount importance, in order to stop the weight being put back on. Furthermore, it is important to increase daily physical activity. Patients, who do not reach a satisfactory weight-loss on a diet, may be subjected to medical or surgical treatment.
More information on obesity
What is obesity? - Obesity is a condition in which the natural energy reserve of a mammal. In humans, the current measurement of obesity is the body mass index (BMI).
What is morbid obesity? - Morbid obesity is clinically severe obesity or extreme obesity.
What is central obesity? - Central obesity (or 'apple-shaped' or 'masculine' obesity), is when the main deposits of body fat are localised around the abdomen and the upper body.
What is the body mass index (BMI)? - The body mass index (BMI) is a mathematical formula that uses your weight and height information to calculate your body mass.
What causes obesity? - Genetic, environmental, psychological, and other factors may all play a role in the development of obesity.
What're health risks associated with obesity? - Obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions including: insulin resistance, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease and gallstones.
How obesity is measured? - A number of tools are available to measure obesity. Most are based on height and weight ratios, body size and shape, and percent body fat.
How common is obesity? - Most health professionals say that obesity is an epidemic. Obesity in the adult population has doubled since 1980.
What's the treatment of obesity? - The mainstay of treatment for obesity is an energy-limited diet and increased exercise.
What's the dietary therapy for treatment of obesity? - Dietary therapy involves instruction on how to adjust a diet to reduce the number of calories eaten. Reducing calories moderately is essential to achieve a slow but steady weight loss, which is also important for maintenance of weight loss.
What's the exercise therapy (physical activity) for obesity treatment? - The primary goal of this therapy is to move sedentary people into an active category (even if it is moderate levels of intensity) and to move moderate level individuals into more vigorous levels.
What's the behavior therapy (physical activity) for obesity treatment? - Behavior therapy involves changing diet and physical activity patterns and habits to new behaviors that promote weight loss.
What about the drug therapy for obesity treatment? - Drug therapy may be used for weight loss and weight maintenance. Patients should be regularly assessed to determine the effect and continuing safety of a drug.
What about obesity surgery? - Obesity surgery is used to modify the stomach and or intestines to reduce the amount of food that can be eaten.
What's childhood obesity? - Obesity in children and adolescents is a serious issue with many health and social consequences that often continue into adulthood.