Obesity is a chronic disease with a complex aetiology that is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that poses a health risk. The World Health Organization defines obesity as having a BMI above 30, with the caveat that this may not be the correct measure for some people (especially athletes).

Obesity is considered to be a condition in which body fat constitutes more than 25% of total body weight in men and 30% in women. The increasing prevalence of obesity during childhood development is worrying, as it translates directly into a higher risk (up to 17.5 times) of obesity and related diseases in adulthood. A diagnosis of obesity at the age of 6 means a 25% risk of obesity in adulthood, Obesity at the age of 12 is already a 75% risk.

In clinical practice, due to the etiopathogenesis, the following are most often distinguished:

  • Simple obesity also called alimentary (Latin: alimentum – food) – is the most common type of obesity found in 98% of obesity cases in children. The cause of this obesity is an excessive supply of calories in relation to the body’s energy expenditure. This type of obesity is conditioned by the environment and consists of immoderate consumption of highly processed foods while limiting physical activity.

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  • Secondary obesity, which is caused by hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, growth hormone deficiency, hypogonadism; genetic defects such as Genetic defects, e.g. Prader-Willi syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome; damage to the hypothalamus due to inflammatory conditions, degenerative diseases, tumours, developmental defects, trauma to the central nervous system; the use of certain drugs: corticosteroids, fonatiosine derivatives, antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs, insulin, sulphonylurea derivatives and others.

Obesity is considered a disease of civilisation leading to a reduced life expectancy. Extremely high obesity leads to disability.

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