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It’s not always your lifestyle or your eating pattern that are at fault. Obesity is complex; A healthcare expert can help you progress through your weight management journey


It’s not always your lifestyle or your eating pattern that are at fault. Obesity is complex; A healthcare expert can help you progress through your weight management journey


An increasing number of experts are recognizing obesity as a disease. Obesity is still widely thought of as a simple matter of lifestyle, while experts around the world are increasingly defining obesity as a serious medical problem. However, people living with obesity rarely seek professional medical help because they believe that they need to deal with the condition all on their own.  

Obesity is just not about weighing more 

Obesity is a chronic condition of multifactorial origin. It has a high global prevalence and is associated with potentially serious complications. It requires a multidisciplinary approach due to its high clinical impact and high health care cost1.

Obesity is a global health problem and is considered one of the most serious, prevalent noncommunicable diseases of the 21st century1. 

Obesity not only changes the physical appearance but also affects various other organs and causes many health complications. An increase in the total body fat levels increases the risk to  health. The amount of abdominal fat, particularly when it is located inside the abdominal cavity around the vital organs like liver and pancreas, has been associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, mediated by different entities 1 

  • type 2 diabetes 
  • heart disease 
  • stroke 
  • sleep apnea 
  • hypertension 
  • dyslipidemia 
  • insulin resistance 
  • inflammation 
  • some types of cancer  

According to the American Diabetes Association,extra weight contributes to an extra risk to the health. It states that being overweight increasesthe risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke2.

Factors that increase the risk of obesity 

Obesity is a complex health issue but also a largely preventable condition. In reality, obesity is a multifactorial disease that is caused by a combination of biological, genetic, social, environmental, and behavioral determinants.3“Just look at our lifestyle today; Our everyday life today is fast paced with most of us commuting by car or public transportation to work. Office jobs and city life often mean that we must sit more and for extended periods of time. We can order and access tasty food and drink at the click of an app. And to add to this, we sleep less and stress more.” The triggers are all around us and they put us at risk of obesity. 

Seeking expert medical advice is important 

Obesity does not present in the same way in everyone. It requires individualized treatment and long-term support like any other complex chronic disease would require.4

New research and medical care are focused on developing clinical care recommendations for people living with obesity. These recommendations aim to help them change their dietary habits and levels of physical activity. In addition, new, safe pharmacological approaches are suggested to reduce the excess fat and improve coping with serious health consequences of obesity.4

Lifestyle management is generally recommended at lower limits of BMI and waist circumference. Dietary changes and exercise are recommended to prevent and treat obesity and health complications. Medications may be prescribed for weight loss based on medical evaluation; their adverse effects and benefits should be discussed first. Bariatric surgery may be also offered to some patients.5

 If appropriate management options, such as dietary changes, exercise, medications, and surgery, are implemented at lower levels of obesity, nearly 15% of the adult Indian population (about 57 crore) will benefit. This will possibly help prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in them.6



  1. Suárez Carmona W, Carrillo Alvarez E, Sánchez Oliver AJ. Obesity as a complex chronic diseaseCurre Res Diab Obes J. 2018;7(1):555702. 
  2. American Diabetes AssociationExtra weight, extra risk. [Internet] [cited 2021 Feb 20]. Available from: http://diabetes.org/diabetes-risk/prevention/overweight.   
  3. Enkhmaa B, Surampudi P, Anuurad E, Berglund L. Endotext [Internet] [cited 2021 Feb 20]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK326737/. 
  4. Wharton S, Lau DC, Vallis M, et alObesity in adults: a clinical practice guideline. CMAJ. 2020 Aug; 192(31):E875-E891. 
  5. Behl S, Misra A. Management of obesity in adult Asian Indians. Indian Heart J. 2017;69(4):539-544. 
  6. Misra A, Chowbey P, Makkar BM, et alConsensus statement for diagnosis of obesity, abdominal obesity and the metabolic syndrome for Asian Indians and recommendations for physical activity, medical and surgical managementJ Assoc Physicians India. 2009 Feb;57:163-70.

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