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Saudi German Hospital Cairo  >  press releases   >  Obesity, causes, complications, and treatment

Obesity, causes, complications, and treatment

What is Obesity?
The History of Obesity
The Causes of Obesity
The Complications of Obesity
The Treatment of Obesity
Obesity in Egypt


What is Obesity?
Obesity is a medical status in which excess and harmful fats in the body increase causing negative impacts. This conditions may result in several health problems.
There are several common methods in identifying obesity, including that a person would look fat. However, the most accurate medical approach is the calculation of the body mass index, generally known as BMI. It is calculated by dividing the weight of the patient in kilograms on the height in meters.

Doctors affirm that those who are overweight, who haven’t suffered from obesity yet, are those who have a BMI between 25 and 30. Those who have a BMI which is higher than 30 are diagnosed by obesity.
Obesity is one of the most common medical conditions numerous people around the world suffer from. In some cases, obesity causes many serious diseases including heart problems, diabetes, some certain types of cancers, and problems in the respiratory system.
Some people think that patients who suffer from obesity simply due to their consumption of large amount of calories, while they don’t carry out a lot of physical activities or exercises. However, there are several other causes including genes, psychological problems, Endocrine disorders, some medications, and other reasons. This is in addition to a slow metabolic processes in some certain cases of patients.
Obesity and its complications are the main cause of death all over the world. Unfortunately, many grown-ups and children suffer from obesity. It is considered one of the major threats to health in the 21st century.
Although in ancient times, having a large weight and being fat were considered symbols of fortune and fertility, in modern times, obesity means a great health challenge and a social and economic burden.

The History of Obesity
It is interesting to know that the world that the world has suffered from the scarcity of food and other resources more than it suffered from obesity. For many civilizations which flourished all over the world, in various periods of time, having a lot of weight was something positive and a symbol of wealth and good health. It was in the 18th century, obesity began to arise as a serious health problem when food became more available.
At the beginning of the 20th century and for decades, obesity was identified as a major health challenge. The prevalence of obesity has dramatically increased since the 1980s. According to WHO, and by calculating the body mass index, or BMI, where the weight in kilos divided by your height in meters, 13% of the all the people around the world, who have a BMI of more than 30 suffer from obesity.
A number of conditions that affected advanced countries and contributed to the occurrence of obesity began having an impact on developing nations. At the beginning of the last century, obesity was a challenge for in Europe and the US only. However, in 1997, countries like Brazil China, and Mexico began suffering from obesity according to the researches of the World Health Organization. They also discovered that obesity has an impact on people of all social levels and educational backgrounds.
With more people immigrating from rural areas to urban regions in a certain country, this contributes to the increase in the level of obesity among the community. This is because people living in rural areas exert much more efforts due to their working activities and style of life, in contradiction with those who live in urban communities.

The Causes of Obesity
Consumption of a large amount of calories while a person is not carrying out exercise or physical activities would simply cause obesity. Adopting a bad diet that consists of large quantities of fats and cryohydrates would also contribute to the problem.
Other reasons of obesity include being physically inactive, bad sleeping habits, carving certain types of food that contain a high level of calories, and a slow metabolic percentage.

The Complications of Obesity
As one of the major health challenges and threats of the 21st century, doctors were able to determine several complications for obesity. These complications range from one person to another due to Hereditary conditions and life style, and even from one community to another due to the pattern of living and the common types of food common among the society.

The complications include:
•    Cholesterol and triglycerides
•    Diabetes
•    Hypertension
•    Heart conditions
•    Depression
•    Cancers in the uterus, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum, and prostate
•    Gallbladder diseases
•    Reproductive health problems in women like infertility and irregular menstrual cycle
•    Reproductive health problems among men like erectile dysfunction
•    Strokes
•    Some liver problems


The Treatment of Obesity
The main treatment for obesity is dieting that would help in decreasing weight on the short run. However, preserving this weight loss is always considered a major challenge. This requires regular exercising, dieting, and a major change in the life style of people.
According to statistics, only from 2 to 20% of people don’t gain weight again after dieting. However, with regular excessing and an alternation in the pattern of life, about 67% succeeded in keeping their achievements in reducing their weights.
Some researchers have shown that there are major benefits in losing weight. They are highly associated with mortality rates in various communities that reach 20% in some societies. A major solution for obesity is to carry out a weight loss surgery. However, because of their high prices and risks, not so many patients around the world would take such a step, except when it is the only solution.

Obesity in Egypt
A recent study carried out in 2017 by the Health Metrics and Evaluation Institution at the University of Washington, with the participation of 2300 scientists and experts, showed that more than 2 billion adults and children suffer from obesity all over the world.
Moreover, the study noted that more than 4 million people passed away in 2015 because of diseases related to their weights, especially heart problems. The study, which was implemented on 196 countries in the world, noted that Egypt has the first position in the world 35% of the whole population suffering from obesity.
WHO announced in 2010 that Egypt has the highest percentage of obesity in Africa and the 14th position all over the world. A more recent study by the WHO, in 2012, noted that around 62% of the adults in Egypt were overweight and 31% suffered from obesity.
Although Egyptians recently began to complain about prices’ increase and the challenges of earning their livings, all statistics and researches prove that Egypt largely suffers from obesity.
Due to studies, countries who are classified to be among the low or medium incomes, are among the nations with the highest obesity rates among adults and even children with 32% according to the World Obesity Federation.
The problems of obesity are not associated with incomes or social classes. In lower social classes in Egypt with lower incomes, families tend to consume large quantities of rice or potatoes due to their low prices. Not every family in Egypt can afford to have meat or fish in every meal.
Another problem among Egyptians is the high consumption of sugar. Egyptians add sugar to tea and all sorts of hot drinks. They might have from 5 to 6 cups per day with 2 or 3 sugar teaspoons. This contributes to the obesity problems.
Many social gatherings in Egypt are actually created to enjoy a meal together. Food is an important issue for Egyptians. Moreover, there is home delivery for fast food in Egypt that serves around the clock and in various regions as well.
Nevertheless, there are several health centers and doctors in Egypt that aid people who suffer from obesity. They offer all sorts of solutions and remedies from simple dieting to the best weight loss surgeries in the region.
There are numerous doctors who professionalize in offering the most suitable diets with exercise to a large scope of patients. This is besides the spread of many gyms all over Egypt with different prices and for all social classes.
The challenge is mainly the style of life of the Egyptians itself. Not all family members exercise on daily or even weekly basis. People tend to consume large quantities of sugar, fats, and carbohydrates, rather than proteins and other nutrition substances. A major change in the patterns of how Egyptians live should be considered in order to properly combat obesity.

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