What is Obesity?

What is Obesity?

Obesity is an excessive and abnormal accumulation of fat in the body to an extent that it impairs health. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to calculate obesity, which is determined by height and weight:

the Body Mass Index is obtained by dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters. A person with a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation value over 30 is considered obese, while a person over 40 is considered morbidly obese.

Fat tissue secretes hormonal and chemical substances that affect the entire system. Some secretions cause the appetite to increase, the satiety limit to be exceeded, and obesity to progress. While excessive weight gain poses a significant threat to your health, it can also lead to restricted movements and severe illnesses.

Obesity, which occurs for various reasons, affects a large number of organs in the human body. Therefore, treatment must be planned and carried out in an environment where multiple sectors work harmoniously together. All patients applying for obesity treatment are primarily evaluated by an endocrinologist, nutritionist, psychiatric specialist, physiotherapist, and exercise advisor. If necessary, cardiologists and pulmonologists examine the patient. Additionally, suitable patients are seen by general surgeons experienced in obesity surgery.

Each patient who applies undergoes a detailed examination of the underlying factors of the obesity problem, eating habits, psychological issues, and health condition. Based on these evaluations, the treatment program suitable for the patient is determined. These treatment programs may include medical nutrition and exercise, as well as options such as medical treatment and surgical treatment, depending on the patient's characteristics.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is one of the most important health problems in the world, especially in developed countries. According to the World Health Organization, 1.9 billion people worldwide are overweight, with 600 million of them being obese. The situation in Turkey is no different. According to the 2015 Body Mass Index study by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), one in five people in Turkey is overweight, meaning they are obese. Obesity in Turkey has increased by 31.1% compared to the 2008 study. Obesity rates are 15.3% for men and 24.5% for women.

Obesity is a Curable Disease

Obesity, which is becoming increasingly common worldwide, significantly affects quality of life and life expectancy. Obesity is a curable disease. Treatment for obesity involves diet, exercise, or surgical methods. Experts determine the appropriate treatment method for the individual to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. By overcoming obesity, you can also combat diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnea, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer, and take a step towards a healthy life.

What does morbid obesity or obesity that needs surgery mean?

Obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories than they can burn, resulting in more fat being stored in the body than normal. Morbid obesity is defined as "pathological" obesity that shortens life by causing deadly diseases and has a body mass index above 40.

Who is a Candidate for Obesity Surgery?

Individuals with a BMI between 35 and 40 and those with problems such as type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea due to excess weight are also considered morbidly obese with regard to obesity surgery. Even patients with "new" type-2 diabetes and obesity-related metabolic disorders with a BMI between 30 and 35 are now required to undergo surgery.

How is Morbid Obesity Treated?

The first treatment option for morbidly obese patients is diet. However, if a diet lasting less than six months and attempted at least twice has failed, diet treatment should no longer be continued. In this case, the most effective treatment option is surgery and should be performed as soon as possible.

What are the Risk Factors for Obesity?

According to the World Health Organization, obesity is one of the 10 most dangerous diseases. Today, obesity is one of the preventable causes of death after smoking.

To fight obesity, you must first change your eating habits and lifestyle. Risk factors to consider when combating obesity include the following:

Environmental Risks

Nowadays, the physical activities of children living in big cities are often limited. Almost every child only participates in physical activities such as sports at school. You should encourage your child to engage in more sports. The main environmental risks include computer use and watching television. These two conditions allow your child to consume less energy during the day and store more energy. It also allows them to eat more junk food in front of the television or computer. The increase in advertising for foods with no nutritional value also contributes to your child gaining weight.

Caution When Feeding!

An overweight child may not eat more than their peers, but they consume less energy. The child's low energy consumption is one of the risk factors for weight gain.

Reduced feeding time for children, eating once or twice a day, or calorie-dense foods like carbohydrate- or fat-rich fries are significant factors for a child's weight gain.

Are genetic factors effective?

If both parents are overweight, there is an 80% chance that the child will be overweight too. If only one of them is overweight, this risk can be reduced by up to 40%. It should not be forgotten that one of the main causes of obesity is not eating too much, but expending as much energy as is consumed.

It is observed that families of children struggling with obesity also engage in fewer physical activities.

Effects of Hormones

Children with obesity should definitely be checked by a hormone specialist. Some children with obesity may suffer from obesity due to diseases such as adrenal, thyroid disorders, and diabetes.

What Are the Causes of Obesity Disease?

Irregular and unbalanced diets, consumption of fast-food meals, and a lack of sports lead to weight gain and the greasing of some vital organs. Uncontrolled eating after prolonged hunger, consuming too many carbohydrate-rich foods, and sugary drinks are some of the dietary errors that cause obesity.

If both parents are overweight, children have an 80 percent chance of obesity. Some hormonal causes like diabetes, thyroid disorders, and adrenal gland diseases can contribute to the causes of obesity.

To avoid fat, it is necessary to adopt a healthy diet and an active lifestyle from childhood.

What Are the Causes of Obesity?

Acibadem Eskisehir Hospital, specialist in endocrinology and metabolic diseases, Prof. Dr. Deniz Gökalp answers questions on the topic of "obesity."

How Is the Degree of Obesity Determined?

A BMI between 35 and 40 and those with problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea due to obesity are also considered morbidly obese concerning obesity surgery. Even patients with "new" type 2 sugar and obesity-related metabolic disorders and a BMI between 30 and 35 now need surgery.

The calculation of the body mass index (BMI) is based on the obesity classification of the World Health Organization.

If you divide your weight by the square of your height (kg/m2), the result indicates whether you are overweight or obese.

  • Under 18.5 kg/m: underweight
  • 18.5-24.9 kg/m: normal weight
  • 25-29.9 kg/m: overweight
  • 30-39.9 kg/m: obese
  • 40 kg/m and above: morbidly obese

What Health Problems Does Obesity Cause?

Obesity is a clear risk factor concerning atherosclerosis and certain cancers like colon, breast, kidney, bladder, pancreas, prostate. Type 2 sugar, high blood pressure, increased blood fats, liver diseases, sleep apnea, joint problems, polycystic ovaries, etc., do not leave morbid obesity alone.

Atherosclerosis starts at a very early age in these people and progresses rapidly, inviting situations like infarction (heart attack) or stroke (cerebral hemorrhage). Due to these circumstances, morbidly obese people, unfortunately, lose their lives significantly earlier than their peers.

In addition, being overweight can lead to a severe loss of self-confidence and social problems, especially in children and adolescents. Morbid obesity can be an important cause of infertility, i.e., infertility in women.

Relationship between diabetes and obesity

Diabetes and obesity are directly proportional to each other. As a person's weight increases, insulin resistance also increases, and diabetes can develop as a result.

Conversely, depending on diabetes, a person can gain weight. For example, patients with type 2 diabetes may gain weight due to the use of insulin.

This is less observed in type 1 diabetes. The main reason why this occurs in type 2 diabetes is the use of medications due to the increase in the amount of insulin produced by the body, as well as the increase in the person's resistance.

In summary, obesity is a complex condition influenced by various factors such as genetics, hormones, and lifestyle choices. To combat obesity, it is crucial to adopt a healthy diet, engage in physical activities, and address any underlying medical issues that could contribute to weight gain.