Don't turn your back on obesity!

Obesity is the most common form of malnutrition in the western world. It is a chronic disease of excessive fat storage, with many years of evolution, being multifactorial in its genesis, genetically related, threatening human life, with high medical, psychological, social, physical and economic significance. As such, genesis involves hereditary, biochemical, hormonal, environmental, behavioral and cultural factors. Surgical intervention is the most effective solution as a treatment for obesity (bariatric surgery).

The prevalence in our country for obesity is estimated at 13% for males and 15% for females.

The degree of obesity is assessed in terms of the Body Mass Index (BMI). This index measured in kg/m2 was found through studies of body densitometry, as the most accurate indicator of the degree of “fat” for all heights. According to the classification of the American National Institute of Health, it is recommended that the BMI be used to classify obesity and estimate the relative risk of disease compared to people with normal weight

BMI = Weight (kg) / Height (m)2 = kg/m2 It has several grades:

18 <BMI <25 kg/m2 Normal

25 <BMI <30 kg/m2 Excess weight

30 <BMI <35 kg/m2 Moderate obesity (grade I)

35 <BMI <40 kg/m2 Severe obesity (grade II)

BMI> 40 kg/m2 Morbid obesity (grade III)

Obesity is a serious health problem because it is associated with debilitating, progressive diseases and with a relative risk of increased mortality in relation to the normal population when the Body Mass Index is equal to or greater than 30 kg/m2. Obesity causes multiple health and general well-being problems.

Obesity in Portugal has increased in the past two decades. Over 40% of the adult population is overweight or obese. Obesity in children and adolescents has also been increasing, with serious repercussions on their health. In Portugal, between 100,000 to 300,000 people are thought to suffer from morbid obesity, with a considerable increase in the risk of serious diseases and the possibility of a much shorter life expectancy.

Grade III obesity is called morbid because it is a progressive, serious, debilitating disease, assuming in some cases proportions of malignant disease (malignant obesity). The social, psychological and economic consequences of morbid obesity are devastating.

Unfortunately, conservative treatment of morbid obesity is not effective in the long run. Over 95% of patients regain weight lost in a few years after conservative treatment.

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