Understanding Obesity as a Disease
Obesity is becoming increasingly common. We now know from extensive research that susceptibility to weight gain is largely due to genetic differences in appetite control. Fat distribution is separately determined by genetics and may determine risk of metabolic complications such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Environmental factors such as easy availability of palatable foods and a decline in physical activity largely explain recent increases in obesity worldwide. Obesity should be treated just like any other chronic disease with both genetic and environmental aetiology, yet due to misunderstanding, prejudice and stigma, it is not. There is an urgent need to expand services to support and treat people with obesity so that they can access proven and effective treatments.
- - is common and increasing almost everywhere
- - susceptibility is determined by underlying biology, although recent increases are driven by societal change
- has multiple complications including T2D and CVD
- - is expensive to health care systems largely due to costs of these complications
- - There is a need to expand services for obesity treatment in the UK