1. Obesity is now recognised as a disease, not just a lifestyle factor.
This will have an important influence on the way obesity is viewed – by society, obesity patients, and the medical profession. This change in the way of thinking will mean obesity sufferers will now qualify for a proper medical assessment, and options for treatment, just like the management of any other chronic disease.
2. Obesity can now be divided into a “fat mass disease” i.e. the pathological and physiological problems associated with having too many fat cells, or, a “sick fat disease” – which occurs when there is increased insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
3. There are four different types of obesity – Not everyone who is obese has a metabolic abnormality.
See the 4 different groups of obesity below:
• NWO – Normal weight, obese – highest body fat content, but no metabolic syndrome
• MONW – Metabolically obese, normal-weight – normal weight but metabolic risk factors make them
more susceptible to insulin resistance
• MHO – Metabolically healthy, obese – Obese, but no metabolic abnormalities
• MUO – Metabolically unhealthy, obese – Obese and have metabolic syndrome.
4. Sarcopenic obesity occurs in people who are normal weight, but obese because they have proportionally less muscle. This occurs mostly in the elderly.
5. Fat is not an inert substance. It has been described as the biggest endocrine (hormone-secreting) organ in the body.
6. Hormone Replacement Therapy does not cause weight gain – in fact, some studies show it may aid weight loss.
This is very often something menopausal women are unaware of.
Dr Deborah Lee
Having worked for many years in the NHS, mostly as Lead Clinician within an integrated Community Sexual Health Service, Dr Deborah Lee now works as a health and medical writer, with an emphasis on women’s health, including medical content for Dr Fox. She has published several books and remains passionate about all aspects of medicine and sexual health.