Is obesity an illness? Doctors are pushing for an action plan against obesity

Fighting pathological obesity: obesity is not recognized as a disease
More and more people worldwide are overweight and obese. In Germany alone, around seven million patients are treated for obesity each year. However, morbid overweight is not recognized as a disease in this country. Experts call for more commitment.

Being overweight is a health hazard
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1.9 billion people worldwide are overweight. Germany is also getting fatter. This can be dangerous: in addition to the psychosocial effects of obesity (obesity), its secondary diseases in particular lead to a severe restriction in quality and duration of life. Experts have now called for a national obesity action plan to combat obesity.

Not recognized as a disease
"A basic problem is that obesity is not recognized as a disease in Germany and many other countries," said Matthias Blüher, President of the German Obesity Society, according to a report by the dpa news agency.

Even though extreme excess weight is responsible for 20 to 40 secondary diseases.

Obesity is a risk factor for vascular and cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease or arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

It also increases the risk of joint wear (arthrosis), fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

Reduce weight with more exercise
According to health experts, even minimal weight loss would have significant positive effects.

In addition to a healthy, low-calorie and low-fat diet, sport would be very helpful here. This not only burns calories, but also dispels the constant hunger, as British researchers reported.

The European Obesity Day, which takes place every year on the third Saturday in May (2017: May 20), is celebrated for the seventh time this year. Around the day of the campaign, the dangers and treatment options of overweight are pointed out.

According to Blüher, who heads an obesity clinic at the University of Leipzig, the group of extremely overweight adults in Germany is growing. (ad)

Author and source information

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