Obesity and morbid obesity, an increasingly frequent problem

Written by: Dr. Ignacio Javier Calleja Kempin
Published: | Updated: 15/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The term obesity refers to an excess of fat in the body. Obesity is becoming one of the most important health problems in the developed world. Therefore, as the prevalence of obesity increases, the diseases that accompany it are developing in a worrying way.

Obesity in children and young adolescents requires special attention , as this is an important platform for the development of obesity in adulthood.


What Causes Obesity?

There is evidence that genetic factors interact strongly with socio-cultural (family) factors to result in obesity. These genetic factors may be over 50% as far as influence on the development of obesity is concerned, but at present the molecular mechanisms dependent on these factors are still not well determined.

Environmental and nutritional factors also influence critical periods of an individual's development, and can produce permanent effects that produce obesity and metabolic diseases. A "Metabolic Programming" can be produced with components of transmission of obesity intergenerationally linked to environmental (socio-cultural) factors.

An interesting example is gestation, since during pregnancy maternal weight factors and their type of nutrition, as well as other related problems, have a direct influence on the future weight of the children and the possible metabolic disorders.

Some environmental factors that may contribute to obesity in youth and adults are as follows: 

  • Increase in foods and beverages rich in carbohydrates (sugars) 
  • Prepared food rations higher than necessary 
  • Fast food services 
  • No family presence at meals 
  • Decreased physical activity structurally 
  • Decreased sleep time 
  • Influence of television and computers 
  • Excessive use of vehicles

When do we stop talking about obesity to refer to morbid obesity?

Obesity-related morbidity and mortality has been known for hundreds of years, but it is now that a direct relationship with a large number of diseases has been observed. Although several types of obesity are recognized, we can categorize it in a simple way by means of the body mass index that results of the division of the weight the kilograms between the square of the height expressed in meters. Thus we will determine that obesity exists from an index of 30 kg / m2 and there is morbid obesity from 40 kg / m2. In relation to surgical treatment, both obese and morbidly obese patients may be involved, depending on the existence of co-morbidities or associated pathologies.


How are obesity and morbid obesity treated?

To date, several hormones are known that can influence obesity and that we can "handle" using surgery when there is morbid obesity.

We can also by surgery cut the nerve connections exist in the stomach and send signals of hunger to the brain cells, so that we can reverse obesity and with it many metabolic diseases and other diseases that accompany it, such as type 2 diabetes, Hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, heart disease, osteoarticular diseases, sleep disorders, psychological disorders, urinary disorders and other endocrine disorders.

Today bariatric surgery is less aggressive than a decade ago and allows an immediate recovery of the patient with reincorporation to the active life in a short time. Also, the follow-up of patients is less complex with a lower rate of complications.

Finally, obesity must be "controlled" early with adequate social programs, but it must be stated that the fear of bariatric surgery should not allow irreversible diseases related to obesity to be established in a person with a consequent risk for life.

For more information, consult with a specialist in General Surgery .

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Ignacio Javier Calleja Kempin

Dr. Ignacio Javier Calleja Kempin is a leading specialist in general surgery. It is particularly expert in advanced laparoscopic surgery, hepatoblio-pancreatic surgery, laparoscopic surgery esophageal-gastric and morbid obesity. Currently, you have a query in the San Francisco de Asis Hospital and has been Head of General Surgery and Gastroenterology of Chiron Group.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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