Obesity – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Obesity in children and adolescents is a serious issue with many health and social consequences that often continue into adulthood. Obesity is the nominal form of obese which comes from the Latin obesus, which means “stout, fat, or plump.” Esus is the past participle of edere (to eat), with ob added to it. Several human cultures, plumpness was associated with physical attractiveness, strength, and fertility. Some of the earliest known cultural artifacts, known as Venus figurines, are pocket-sized statuettes representing an obese female figure. Although their cultural significance is unrecorded, their widespread use throughout pre-historic. This is most likely due to their ability to easily bear children and survive famine. Obesity, especially central obesity (male-type or waist-predominant obesity), is an important risk factor for the “metabolic syndrome” (“syndrome X”), the clustering of a number of diseases and risk factors that heavily predispose for cardiovascular disease.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Obesity can run in families. Many families eat the same foods, have the same habits (like snacking in front of the TV), and tend to think alike when it comes to weight issues (like urging children to eat a lot at dinner so they can grow “big and strong”). All of these situations can contribute to weight gain, so it can be difficult to figure out if a person is born with a tendency to be obese or overweight or learns eating and exercise habits that lead to weight gain. Hypertension is common among obese adults. A Norwegian study showed that weight gain tended to increase blood pressure in women more significantly than in men. In most cases, weight problems arise from a combination of habits and genetic factors. Certain illnesses, like thyroid gland problems or unusual genetic disorders, are uncommon causes for people gaining weight.

Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration; it is a dire health dilemma directly harmful to one’s health. In the United States, roughly 300,000 deaths per year are directly related to obesity, and more than 80% of these deaths are in patients with a BMI (body mass index, which will be discussed later in this article) over 30. Obesity also increases the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases. In the United States, women are slightly more at risk for becoming obese than men. Race and ethnicity also can be factors – in adolescents, obesity is more common among African Americans. It is also associated with breathing problems such as asthma and sleep apnea and problems with hips and knee joints that may require surgery.

Causes of Obesity

1.Genetics (hormones).


3.High diet of carbohydrates.

4.Slow metabolism.

5.Psychological factors(stress and sadness).

Symptoms of Obesity

1.Large body frame.

2. Difficulty in doing daily activities.


4. Breathlessness.

5.Increased weight.

Treatment of Obesity

1.Lifestyle changes

2.Medications (Phentermine ,Sibutramine )

3.Surgery–Gastrointestinal surgery .

4.Alternative and complementary therapies -5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan); Acupuncture and Ayurveda.

5.Other treatments-Consider counseling or behavior therapy.