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Everything you need to know about obesity

Obesity is a chronic disease that can lead to difficulties in your everyday life and cause diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.

Obesity: an international epidemic according to the WHO

More than 400 Million adults are obese and 1.6 billion adults are overweight (2005 figures).

20 million children under 5 years of age were overweight in 2005.

In 2015, the WHO predicts that there will be 700 million obese and 2.3 billion overweight adults.

Considered to be a problem only in rich countries, obesity is increasing alarmingly in low and medium income countries, particularly in urban areas.


Obesity in France

There are more than 9 million obese people in France today (OBEPI survey 2009).

The number of obese adults went from 8.5% in 1997 to 14.5% in 2009.


What are the causes of obesity and overweight?

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned. Several factors are involved in this imbalance, including:

  • a change in diet observed worldwide: greater consumption of very caloric foods that are rich in fat and sugar but poor in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients
  • the tendency to do less physical exercise due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, the change in methods of transportation and urbanization.


What are the most common consequences of overweight and obesity?

Overweight and obesity have serious consequences on health. A high body mass index is an important risk factor for chronic diseases such as:

  • cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), which is already the number one cause of death in the world (17 million deaths per year)
  • diabetes, which has rapidly taken on the proportions of an international epidemic. The WHO predicts that deaths due to diabetes will increase by more than 50% in the world during the next 10 years
  • musculo-skeletal disorders, particularly arthritis
  • certain cancers (endometrial, breast and colon)