Quarterly scientific journal

Obesity: A multifactorial disease

Maria Saridi , Mariana Ntokou

Abstract

Obesity represents one of the most serious global health issues with approximately 310 million people presently affected. Main cause of it’s development is the increase of energy intake in regard to energy expenditure. Aim: The aim of the present study was to review the literature about the causes and treatment of obesity, as well as the anthropometrical measurements used for the assessment of obesity. The method οf this study included bibliography research from both the review and the research literature, mainly in the “pub med data base” which referred to the causes and treatment of obesity, as well as the anthropometrical measurements used for the assessment of obesity. Results: The prevalence of obesity has increased markedly, throughout the world. Although the etiology of obesity has not been fully understood yet, however it seems to be a multifactorial disease for which are responsible a great deal of psychological, environmental, genetic and behavioral factors. The most common anthropometrical measurement that is used for assessment of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI) and is calculated by the following equation: ΒΜΙ=Weight/Height2. A value of ΒΜΙ ≥ 30 kg/m2 equals obesity. Another simple test used to measure obesity is Waist to Hip Ratio, which measures abdominal adiposity. Values greater than 0,95 should be treated seriously as they normally indicate body fatness. The majority of studies show that life-style modification in conjunction with a well-balanced nutrition and regular physical exercise consist the cornerstone for the treatment and prevention of obesity. Conclusions: Obesity is a disease that can be preventable through modification of way of living. The development of proper strategy prevention capable to change attitudes, to promote nutrition and physical activity should be the primary goal of every community and government.

Keywords: Obesity, cause, anthropometry, treatment of obesity

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