What is it?

According to the World Health Organization, Obesity turns out to be one of the main problems of the public health in the Western societ. We are in front of a global epidemic that is spreading in many countries and which can cause, in the absence of immediate action, very serious health problems in the coming years.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a condition characterized by excessive accumulation of body fat, usually because of poor diets and a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity and overweight conditions are often associated with premature death and are now universally recognized as risk factors for major chronic diseases.

At the cardiovascular system level the effects of obesity are often found: arteriosclerosis, heart disease, hypertension, cerebral vascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke and heart attack. At osteo-articular level obesity may develop arthritis, osteoarthritis and other osteo-artricular diseases. In obese patients there is also a increased risk of developing certain cancers, especially cancer of the stomach, colon, breast, gallbladder and endometrium.

Often obese people develop type 2 mellitus diabetes, hyperlipidemia, gallstones and metabolic problems. On the psychological level, obesity can completely disrupt the life of a person who has a reduced self-esteem, and therefore isolates itself from others.

According to the data from the Italian Superior Institute of Health shown on the tenth edition of  ‘Obesity Day’ held October 10th to 11th 2010, 10% of the Italian adult population is obese and rises to 15% in children. These data are steadily increasing.

Last year in Italy there were 50.000 deaths from diseases related to obesity. Children obesity is continuing to rise and according to a study conducted in 2004 (Hesketh, Wake and Waters) there is a link between low self-esteem and excess of weight in obese children.

A disturbing fact is represented by the persistence of obesity from infant-age to adults, resulting in increased risk for physical and mental health.

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