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Obesity

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a formula used to classify overweight and obesity. A person with a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese.

The most important factors contributing to the development of obesity are lifestyle and diet. There are also genetic and endocrine diseases related to obesity.  Some medications may be related to obesity as well.

Obesity is a chronic disease frequently associated with other conditions including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and cancer.

Greater BMI is associated with increased rate of death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Obesity often requires many years to cause health damage of diverse severity.

Obesity is the number one cause of preventable disease and disability.

Obesity may cause:

Heart attack
Heart failure
Atrial fibrillation
Stroke
Venous thrombosis and pulmonary infarct
Osteoarthritis
Gout
Gallbladder stones and fatty liver disease
GERD
Cancer of: esophagus, uterus, gallbladder, kidney, liver, colon, thyroid, ovary, breast

The initial management of obese patients includes a combination of diet, exercise, and behavioral modification.

For those patients who are unable to achieve weight loss goals with a comprehensive lifestyle intervention alone, pharmacologic therapy could be a useful alternative. A few patients may also need bariatric surgery.