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Obesity is a medical condition in which a person has an excessive amount of body fat. It is a major health concern worldwide, affecting an estimated 650 million adults. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for obesity is essential to preventing and managing this condition.
The symptoms of obesity can vary depending on the individual. However, some common symptoms include:
- Body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher
- Increased risk of health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing, especially during physical activity
- Joint pain
- Fatigue or weakness
- Sleep apnea or other sleep disorders
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Obesity can have many causes, including:
- Overeating and a lack of physical activity
- Genetics and family history
- Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing's syndrome
- Medications, such as antidepressants and corticosteroids
- Age and gender
- Psychological factors, such as stress, depression, and anxiety
Some of these risk factors, such as genetics and age, cannot be changed. However, others, such as overeating and a lack of physical activity, can be modified to reduce the risk of developing obesity.
The treatment for obesity will depend on the individual and the severity of the condition. Some common treatments include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and losing weight if overweight or obese
- Behavioral therapy to address psychological factors, such as stress and depression, that may contribute to overeating
- Medications, such as orlistat and liraglutide, to help with weight loss
- Bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass surgery, for people with severe obesity
In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be necessary to manage obesity effectively.
Preventing obesity is essential to reducing the risk of developing this condition. Some strategies for preventing obesity include:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar, saturated and trans fats
- Limiting portion sizes and avoiding high-calorie, high-fat foods
- Drinking plenty of water instead of sugary beverages
- Getting enough sleep and managing stress
Obesity is a serious medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for obesity is essential to preventing and managing this condition. By making healthy lifestyle choices and seeking medical treatment when necessary, you can reduce your risk of developing obesity and lead a healthy, active life.
Nearly 7% of the world population is obese1 and about 66% of the adults in the United States are overweight or obese.2 Obesity is associated with a number of adverse medical conditions including increased risk of gallbladder disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease (CHD), osteoarthritis, cancer death and reduced life expectancy.3–8 Obesity is also associated with adverse social and psychological consequences, including bias, discrimination and decreased quality of life.9,10
More effective treatment strategies are urgently needed for obesity management. The total caloric intake or energy density of one’s diet appears to be associated with obesity11–14 and a diet that induces a negative energy balance continues to be an important part of obesity management. Strategies to achieve the difficult task of eating less than desired include reduction of the energy density of foods by increasing food volume by the addition of fluids,15,16 bulk17–19 or their combination;20 or by increasing satiety by various anorectic drugs or macronutrient combinations of high satiety value.
Satiety is positively associated with the protein, fiber and water content of foods and negatively with fat and palatability ratings.21,22 However, within food groups, there may be as much as a twofold difference in satiety values, suggesting that certain foods promote greater satiety independent of macronutrient content or energy density. An egg is an example of such a food that has a 50% greater satiety index compared to white bread or ready-to-eat breakfast cereal.21 Compared to an isocaloric bagel breakfast of equal weight, an egg breakfast had a greater satiating effect, which translated into a lower caloric intake at lunch.23 The resulting decrease in energy consumption lasted for at least 24 h after the egg breakfast.
This study was undertaken to exploit the short-term satiating benefits of an egg breakfast23 for weight loss in a longer-term trial. The objectives were to determine if the incorporation of an egg breakfast in the diet by overweight or obese subjects would (1) induce reduced energy intake and unintentional weight loss, even when not attempting weight reduction; or (2) enhance weight loss when following a reduced energy diet. We compared the effects of an egg vs isocaloric bagel breakfast of equal weight on weight loss, indices of body size and composition, dietary compliance, food cravings and health-specific quality of life.Materials and methods
The study was approved by the institutional review boards at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and at Saint Louis University. Written informed consent was obtained from the participants. We certify that all applicable institutional and governmental regulations regarding the ethical use of human volunteers were followed during this research.
Of the 160 participants enrolled, 8 did not complete the trial. The final study sample included 152 participants (131 women and 21 men; mean age 45.0±9.4 years; black participants 47.7% and white participants 52.3%). Demographic characteristics of the participants are provided inTable 1
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