A risk to an individual health
Overweight and obesity are defined by the WHO as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to an individuals health.
Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Obesity and overweight have in the last decade become a global problem – according to the World Health Organization (WHO) back in 2005 approximately 1.6 billion adults over the of age 15+ were overweight, at least 400 million adults were obese and at least 20 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight.
Experts believe if the current trends continue by 2015 approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese. The scale of the obesity problem has a number of serious consequences for individuals and government health systems.
There is no treatment for the moment. The only alternative is the bariatric surgery but is too heavy for the patients.
347 million people worldwide have diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died from consequences of fasting high blood sugar. A similar number of deaths has been estimated for 2010. More than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030.
Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset) results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world, and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.
Diabete can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves:
Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. 50% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease (primarily heart disease and stroke). Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and eventual need for limb amputation. Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of blindness, and occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. One percent of global blindness can be attributed to diabetes. Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure. The overall risk of dying among people with diabetes is at least double the risk of their peers without diabetes.