Obesity is common, affecting between 10 and 14 percent of adults worldwide. It is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Obesity is a medical concern because of the secondary health problems associated with it. Risks linked to obesity include heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer, breathing problems and kidney and liver diseases.* Even losing a portion of the excess fat, around 10 percent, can substantially reduce the risk of many of these secondary conditions.1
While obesity is ultimately a condition caused by an imbalance between caloric intake and daily energy expenditure, multiple factors can lead to such an imbalance. In addition to eating excessively, several other factors such as genes, the surrounding culture and infrastructure, amount of sleep and even some medications may influence unintended weight gain. While some of these factors are out of a person’s control, lifestyle habits and nutritional intake can be adapted to make this condition less likely, or to help someone lose the excess fat they have already gained.2
As a caloric imbalance is the primary cause of obesity, correcting this imbalance may be the most effective way to address it. Both increasing activity (burning more calories) and reducing intake (eating fewer calories) can help restore a proper energy balance. At Nestlé Health Science, we are actively engaged in developing nutritional therapies to help improve conditions like obesity and the quality of life of patients with such conditions.
1. http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/obesity_text/en/. Accessed December 2014.
2. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/understanding.htm. Accessed December 2014.
*Risks and symptoms are not all-inclusive, patients may have different experiences.
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