What is obesity?
Obesity is the condition of being overweight, a widespread problem in Europe and North America increasingly affecting people on other continents.
For the first time in human history, there are as many people suffering from obesity as from malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is the fastest growing health risk. Obese people are confronted with various potentially life-threatening health problems as well as psychological and social problems.
Each year in our obesity center we treat almost 300 people, nearly 200 of them surgically.
What causes obesity?
Obesity develops over a long period of time. The causes include a high calorie diet, excessive fat consumption, lack of portion control, lack of exercise and genetic predisposition. Usually a combination of these causes is responsible.
For some obese people, genetic factors play a part in their excess weight. A lot of research has been done on genetic factors that might be linked to obesity.
The main reason for the increase of obesity is wealth, which has a major influence on our eating habits. Unbalanced diets, fast-food snacks high in fat, overly generous portions, and highly sweetened soft drinks have negative impacts on energy balance. More calories are eaten than are necessary for everyday life. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that physical activity at work and at home is clearly decreasing.
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