Obesity is the accumulation of adipose (fatty) tissue in the body. This is now considered by the world health organisation to be a public health problem, hence it is a good practise to monitor and be aware of service user’s body mass index (BMI).
There can be a genetic predisposition to gain weight, the risk is increased when parents themselves, or close relatives are obese. Also inadequate physical activity often combined with ‘bad eating habits’ cause an imbalance in the amount of energy taken in and expanded. It is also important to look at other factors such as hormonal imbalance and the ingestion of medication e.g. corticoids and antidepressants.
Previously considered as an aesthetic problem, obesity is now regarded as a real illness. Being severely overweight and obesity are responsible for a certain number of problems e.g. Premature death – according to international obesity task force (IOTF) obese women run three times more risk of being affected by a cerebral vascular illness than thin women. There is a high risk of thromboembolic diseases (angina pectoris, phlebitis and pulmonary embolism).
Arterial Hypertension - is linked to obesity in 30-60% of cases, notably in western adults under the age of 40.
Type 2 Diabetes – this diabetes which appears in adults, and where insulin, which reduces blood sugar levels, is no longer effective is closely linked with being overweight.
Android obesity - is characterised by adipose tissue being present on the abdomen around the stomach near the chest. This poses a health risk e.g. increased risk of cardio-vascular diseases.
Gynoid Obesity – is characterised by a distribution of fats, mainly on the hips, thighs and buttocks (this is well known in women). This type of obesity mainly affects physical movement in