Obesity is characterized by excessive accumulation of fat in adipose tissue and a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. It is classified as a chronic-degenerative and inflammatory pathology, which can occur as a result of poor diet, metabolic, hormonal, genetic, and psychological factors, in addition to a sedentary lifestyle. When people spend less than they eat, they have an unbalanced energy balance, which means that excess calories will be stored in the form of body fat, because the human body is designed to hold onto as much fat as possible to store for times when food may be scarce, a situation that, in the long term, leads to obesity.
It is no wonder that obesity has worried the medical community since it can favor the development of a series of health problems that can directly impact the quality of life of patients. The main diseases are type 2 diabetes, hypertension, acquired hyperlipidemia, liver diseases, gastroesophageal reflux, and obstructive sleep apnea, and if not properly treated, they can end up interfering with the body's functions.
Regarding mental health, the change in body image caused by weight gain may lead to a devaluation of self-image and self-concept in obese people, reducing their self-esteem. As a result of this, depressive and anxious symptoms may appear, a decrease in the sense of well-being and an increase in the sense of social inadequacy, with consequent degradation of relational performance.
The treatment of obesity is based on changes in eating behavior and physical exercise and when indicated on pharmacological and surgical treatment. One of the major challenges in the treatment of obesity is maintaining weight after weight loss, which is why the obese patient must adopt a healthy lifestyle with changes in behavioral and eating habits.
The practice of a physical activity is one of the most useful factors in the weight loss process. In addition, it helps to have a healthier life and improves well-being throughout the day. Physical activity should be performed for approximately 30 minutes or more, 5 to 7 days a week, to prevent weight gain and improve cardiovascular health, and combining aerobic and resistance exercise is better than doing just one modality alone.
Regarding the diet, we have several types that can be adopted, such as intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet. There are also drug treatments, weight-loss medications are meant to be used along with diet, exercise, and behavior changes, not instead of them. Taking these pills or injections for a year can mean a loss of total body weight of 3% to 12% more than that lost with lifestyle changes alone.