The 2018 edition, held on May 18th , aims to raise awareness among health, care and patient referrals on this issue, which affects more than 650 million people worldwide. What is obesity? What are the current challenges, in France and in the world? My Liver Exam gives you some tools to understand this phenomenon.
What is obesity?
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), obesity is defined as an excess of weight by increasing the fat mass of an individual. (1) Although physical constitution, age, gender are factors to consider, the Body Mass Index (BMI) remains the primary indicator for establishing a self-rated grid of overweight patients. A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered to be overweight, and obesity if greater than 30. (2)
Figures regarding obesity
The global evolution of this pathology is irrevocable: the number of obesity cases has doubled since 1980. By 2014, more than 1.9 billion people were overweight and 650 million were obese. Every year, 2.6 million people die from linked-obesity complications (ie. Cardiovascular disease). (3)
The World Health Observatory has compiled data on obesity based on 2014 data.
In a country such as France, the situation is equally worrying. More than half of French people over the age of 30 are overweight. Specifically, the overweight in France concerns 56.8% of men and 40.9% of women. The issue of socio-economic status is highlighted in the prevalence of overweight. Indeed, the lower the level of income, the more the populations are affected by malnutrition and the problems related to weight. It appears that 30.7% women are affected by obesity in these conditions of life. (2)
The main causes of obesity
Although overweight and obesity factors are complex and often specific to individuals, several causes can lead to an increase in body mass. Behavioral aspects can affect the overall health of the individual.
Excessive consumption of fatty foods, sugars, alcoholic beverages and starchy foods leads to overweight or obesity. It is also possible that other aspects reinforce this pathology as episodes of psychological distress (depression, stress, trauma …).
And we must mention, among the possible causes, inactivity. To know how to resume an activity, do not hesitate to consult our article about “why is inactivity bad for your liver?”.
Some people may also experience a genetic predisposition, a hormonal disorder that facilitates weight gain.
Eating well by consuming more fruits and vegetables, coupled with regular physical activity is the first step to weight loss.
If you think you are facing weight problems, talk to your general practitioner!