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OBESITY OR OVERWEIGHT? DIFFERENCES AND CAUSES

Weight classification

Understanding the distinction between overweight and obesity is essential for correctly classifying body weight and developing appropriate management strategies.

  • Overweight Overweight: an adult is considered to be overweight when their body mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9.
  • Obesity Obesity: obesity is diagnosed when the BMI reaches or exceeds 30, indicating a significantly higher level of body fat.

The BMI may not accurately reflect the body composition of some people, such as athletes. It is therefore advisable to consult a health professional for a full body composition assessment.

Demographic statistics

Comprehensive epidemiological data reveal a worrying trend in body weight classification within the adult population, with over a third of adults classified as obese.
This figure highlights a major public health problem, as obesity is a well-established risk factor for a myriad of chronic diseases.

The situation is just as worrying among children and teenagers, more specifically those aged between 6 and 19. Around a third are considered overweight or obese, indicating the early onset of weight-related health problems that can persist into adulthood.

The prevalence of obesity is pronounced among young people, with more than one child and one teenager in six being obese. There is therefore an urgent need for targeted interventions and educational campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles from an early age.

The consequences of obesity

Obesity considerably increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. It is associated with the development of pathologies such as hypertension, dyslipidaemia and type 2 diabetes, all of which are cardiovascular risk factors.
Obesity is also linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer. According to a recent study, obesity is implicated in the aetiology of 4 % of cancers in men and 7 % in women, due to the complex interaction of hormonal, inflammatory and metabolic factors associated with excess weight.
In summary, the statistics paint a bleak picture of obesity and highlight its impact on health. It is clear that obesity is not just a cosmetic problem, but a critical factor significantly influencing the risk of disease.
To solve the problem, a combination of public health initiatives, awareness programmes and lifestyle changes is needed.

Causes of obesity

Obesity is a pathological condition characterised by an excessive accumulation of body fat, resulting from a complex interaction of genetic, environmental, behavioural and physiological factors. Although there are many causes of obesity, it is widely recognised that a sustained energy imbalance, resulting from an excess of calorie intake over energy expenditure, is the primary factor in the development of obesity.

  • Lack of physical activity Physical activity is essential for calorie expenditure. Without it, the body doesn't burn enough calories, leading to an accumulation of body fat. Incorporating moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, into your daily routine is also crucial to improving overall health.
  • Unhealthy eating habits The main cause of weight gain is excessive calorie consumption in relation to energy expenditure. A diet high in refined carbohydrates, low in fruit and vegetables and characterised by unbalanced meals is a significant contributor to excess weight. Keeping a food diary can help you better understand and manage your eating habits.
  • Insufficient sleep Lack of sleep imbalances the hormones that regulate appetite, increasing levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and decreasing levels of leptin (the satiety hormone). This imbalance leads to cravings for high-calorie foods. Quality sleep, generally between seven and nine hours a night, is essential to maintain hormonal balance and prevent weight gain.
  • Medicines Weight gain: some medicines can cause weight gain by altering metabolism or increasing appetite. It is important to consult a doctor to manage these side effects, by adopting a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
  • Pregnancy Weight gain during pregnancy is normal and necessary for the development of the foetus. However, after childbirth, weight loss can be difficult due to hormonal changes and the demands of caring for a newborn baby. Appropriate follow-up can be essential to help women manage post-partum weight.
  • Pathologies Weight gain: some underlying conditions, such as Prader-Willi syndrome or Cushing's syndrome, can lead to weight gain due to the interaction of genetic and hormonal factors. A full medical assessment is necessary to correctly diagnose and treat these conditions.

Weight management strategies

Combating obesity requires a comprehensive approach:

  • A balanced diet Rich in fruit, vegetables, fibre, protein and healthy fats.
  • Regular physical activity A combination of aerobic, strength and flexibility exercises.
  • Support from family and friends The importance of support from friends and family in maintaining healthy behaviours.
  • Monitoring food intake Keeping a food diary to improve eating habits.
  • A positive frame of mind : Motivate yourself with visual reminders of progress.

It is strongly recommended that you consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice and to draw up a suitable weight management plan.

Aesthetic medicine solutions

Aesthetic medicine treatments can help you get back into shape.

La cryolipolysiswhich uses cold to destroy fat cells in a targeted, non-invasive way, accelerates the loss of localised fat deposits.
Injections of mesotherapy are useful for drainage and treating water retention.
L'onda cool-wavesimproves skin quality.
Injections ofhyaluronic acidparticularly in medical liftThey treat the sagging of the face that can be caused by major weight loss.