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Overweight and obesity: Key components of cardiometabolic risk

Authors
Publisher
Elsevier B.V.
Publication Date
Volume
8
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s1098-3597(07)80026-3
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

The current obesity epidemic is a major public health concern worldwide, in both developed and developing countries, and in adults and children alike. Obesity confers physical stress on multiple biologic processes and is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, and certain forms of cancer, among other serious diseases. Therefore, it is essential that all health care providers take an active role in addressing the issue of obesity with their patients to reduce their cardiometabolic risks. Indeed, there is a 3-fold increase in the odds that a patient will attempt weight loss if it is recommended by a trusted health care professional. A reduction of only 5% to 10% of body weight improves lipid profiles, insulin sensitivity, and endothelial function, and reduces thrombosis and inflammatory markers. There is evidence, however, that humans are highly sensitive to the availability and nature of food in the environment, which presents a formidable obstacle to achieving lasting weight loss. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health recommends lifestyle modification as the primary intervention. For individuals who do not respond or for those who also have a weight-related illness, a weight loss medication may need to be added to their treatment plan. While there are few medical options currently available, new compounds for the treatment of obesity are under investigation.

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