Obesity and Overweight – what it is, causes, consequences and treatment.

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What is Obesity?

Obesity is a complex disease, therefore its definition has been a difficult process. Thus, we consider these health experts to better define it.


“Obesity, like most other chronic diseases of man, is a multifactorial disorder, i.e., there are a number of factors that influence whether or not obesity or an abnormal increase in body fat develops.”George A. Bray

“To distinguish between those who are or are not obese in the sense of being at risk to their health, the simplest method is to consult normal height and weight charts.”Garrow JS


Based on these premises, we define obesity as a complex disease that consists of having a very excessive amount of body fat. It is not only an aesthetic problem, but it also presents serious health risks, generating severe complications and in many situations the same death. Its evident relationship with food consumption determined that for a long time it was seen as a behavioral disorder, with great resistance to considering the multiple alterations that give it the character of a disease. From the increasingly precise knowledge of what obesity is, a model has been derived that explains its genesis and consequences.

The definitions of obesity go through the analysis of the nature, physiopathogenesis, possibilities of prevention and treatment of this disease. In addition, they provide guidelines for understanding their clinical heterogeneity.

Overweight and obesity have become a global public health problem. In 2016, 39% of the global adult population was overweight and 13% obese, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It is estimated that between 20% and 25% of children and adolescents in the world suffer from this problem. Regardless of the situation that arises, reducing even a modest amount of kilos could help you prevent many of these evils. Having a healthy and controlled diet, in addition to physical activity will help you lose weight significantly.

What types of obesity exist?

Obesity is listed as one of the most global crises and situations in health issues, it is for them that they were classified as follows:

  • Etiological:
    • Primary obesity or also called essential, is the most frequent case of obesity.
    • Secondary obesity is associated with diseases, product of hormonal alterations or genetic alterations. This case is somewhat critical, since the consumption of some pharmaceuticals can worsen the situation, such as the consumption of steroids, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, among others.
  • According to fat distribution:
    • Android (A): known as apple type; is the accumulation of fat in the trunk and abdomen region of the body.
    • Gynecoid (B): known as pear type; is the accumulation of fat in the femoro-gluteal (buttocks, hips, thighs and lower half of the body).

According to fat distribution of obesity

  • According to the body mass index (I.M.C.)
    • It is the standard obesity classification parameter associated with the population that is healthy, according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization. Keep in mind that BMI has limitations, because on some occasions, individuals with too much muscle mass should have more weight and therefore be classified as obese, in the same way with people of short stature or subjects with edema.
NORMAL 18.5 – 24.9 Average
OVERWEIGHT 25 – 29.9 Increased
OBESITY GRADE 1 30 – 34.9 Moderate
OBESITY GRADE 2 36 – 39.9 Severe
OBESITY GRADE 3 Más de 40 very severe

Obesity classification table based on BMI (O.M.S. 97)

    • In 2000, the Spanish society for the study of obesity (SEEDO) published a new table model previously proposed by the WHO, however the model is maintained and more categories were added. This is intended to bring together both men and women of all ethnic groups.


PRE – OBESITY 25.0 – 29.9
OBESITY ≥ 30.0
OBESITY GRADE 1 30.0 – 34.9
OBESITY GRADE 2 35.0 – 39.9


Classification table according to BMI (S.E.E.D.O. 00)

    • According to waist circumference
      • Unlike the BMI classification model, this model presents the risk of an overweight person (BMI < 35) when measuring the patient’s circumference would present a high risk; because by exceeding this measure, the patient would be at high risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
HOMBRES ≥ 94 cm. ≥ 102 cm.
MUJERES ≥ 80 cm. ≥ 88 cm.

waist circumference (RIESGO ELEVADO)

Statistics of children with obesity (2006)

Statistics of adults with obesity (2006)

What are the Causes of Obesity?

There are factors that contribute to excess weight gain, but among the most common are:

  • By genetics:
    • Genetics play an important role in the body, inheritance from parents directly affects the amount of body fat that is stored and distributed in the body, as this is reflected in appetite and in the way calories are stored. as well as food processing.
  • Lifestyle:
    • Sedentary lifestyle, the accumulation of fat is related to food consumption, because in many situations one can eat healthy, but sedentary lifestyle, mainly due to long working hours sitting, generates an accumulation in the abdominal area.
    • Lack of physical activity.
      • The lack of habit of after eating, do some light activity that helps digestion.
    • inadequate diet.
      • Excessive consumption of processed foods, with a high level of cholesterol and fat, as well as sugary soft drinks (sodas) and alcohol consumption.
    • Diseases:
      • There are diseases such as arthritis, which generally lack physical activity and therefore increase weight.
    • Medications consumed regularly.
      • Certain medications can contribute to weight gain significantly if they are not offset by diet or physical activity. Medications that could alter the body include antidepressants, steroids, antipsychotic medications, contraceptives, and anti-seizure medications.

Causes of Obesity

What are the consequences of obesity?

  • Diabetes (T2)
    • Presenting obesity would seriously affect the control of glucose levels by insulin consumption, since the body could present a great resistance to this drug and complicate diabetes.
  • Cardiovascular diseases.
    • Being obese increases the chances of suffering from high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels, which would cause a high risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders.
    • Presenting obesity increases the pressure exerted on the joints in addition to this the full load of the body weight, this would cause inflammation within the body generating serious complications such as osteoarthritis.
  • Cancer.
    • Presenting obesity increases the risk of contracting diseases such as uterine cancer, cervix, endometrium, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate.
  • Sleep apnea
    • Presenting obesity makes you more prone to presenting this disorder, since it makes it even more difficult to fall asleep, as a result of not being able to breathe well and causing suffocation.
  • Covid 19
    • Currently, the pandemic has been evolving and with it the way in which it attacks the body, presenting obesity highly increases the risk not only of being infected, but also in the seriousness that this virus damages the body that needs intensive care treatment or the use of mechanical ventilator assistance.

NOTE: An important point is in the quality of life itself, whether due to physical inactivity, food consumption, pills, among others; Well, you could present serious symptoms of depression, disability, social isolation, lower work performance and, in most cases, guilt and shame.


Treatments and Recommendations

  • Limitation of the consumption of foods with high levels of sugars and fats.
    • Reduce calories.
      • It is one of the first steps to lose weight, to do this knowing how much is the usual consumption of calories and looking for alternatives to reduce them. A health specialist can give you better details, since it varies according to the person (age, size, texture, among others), but the normal index is in the average of 1,200 to 1,500 calories in women and 1,500 to 1,800 in men.
    • Control of food consumption.
      • Restrictions on certain foods.
        • The idea is to limit the amounts in which you consume foods that are high in carbohydrates or fat. As well as the reduction or elimination of drinks with sugar.
      • Reduced portion of food.
        • The intention is to gradually reduce the portions of food that you usually consume, that is, if a dish represents 100% of your usual consumption, reduce it in percentages, so that you would consume the same amount of vitamins.
      • Replacement of some foods.
        • Replace desserts, candies, fats and processed foods with fruits and vegetables, the proportion would vary depending on your satiety of consumption. The intention is to consume large portions with fewer calories and to have a feeling of general well-being.
        • Replacing low-calorie bars or shakes with equivalent meals is a good short-term alternative, but you probably won’t change your lifestyle and stick to that diet to keep your weight off.
      • Choose healthier options.
        • Repeated consumption of vegetables, fruits and cereals, as well as protein consumption such as beans, lentils and lean meats.
        • Limit the consumption of salt and sugars.
        • Small amounts of healthy fats, such as olive oil, canola, and nuts.
  • Increasing physical activity is a good treatment. To do this, carry out more routines, for example, young people allocate exercises for 60 minutes a day, in the case of adults 150 minutes a day, and in cases of extreme obesity, only walk 30 minutes a day.
  • Lead lifestyle change programs that help improve behavior and know how to deal with situations of relapse, episodes of stress, among others:
    • Get advice from a professional to help control emotional problems and behaviors related to food. These therapies will help you understand the reasons why you eat and the multiple options to deal with them.
    • There are support groups where they support each other to face and get out of these problems.
  • Currently there are medical procedures for weight loss among these things we have:
    • Sleeve gastro endoscopy: They consist of placing saturation points to help reduce the amount of food and liquids.
    • Intragastric balloon: they consist of placing a balloon in the stomach, this balloon is filled with water with the intention of reducing the amount of space in the stomach and generating satiety by eating less.
    • Placement of the gastric band: Doctors place a band on the stomach that tightens with the intention of generating 2 sacs with a small channel between these sacs, which causes one to be satisfied by eating little.
    • Gastric bypass surgery: A small sac is created under the main part of the stomach, this fulfills the function of sending food directly to the intestine without passing through the entire stomach.
    • Gastric sleeve: Part of the stomach is removed and a smaller reservoir for food is created.
  • Weight Loss Medications
    • You can also help yourself with the Xtralife food and preventive supplement, which contains extracts of natural ingredients, formulated for weight control and active people by favoring the breakdown of fats and the regulation of their metabolism, as well as the internal control of the body such as joints and bone system, on the other hand control of the care of the colon with its periodic cleaning. Keep in mind that weight loss medications are intended precisely to have a diet with exercise routines, in addition to having changes in behavior, not to replace them. That is why Xtralife has several products related to weight loss and control.
      • Fat Burner Pills – Slim Burner Xtralife: Product responsible for burning fat.
      • Shark Cartilage – Xtralife: Product that helps improve circulation and combat arthritis or osteoporosis.
      • Colon Cleanser Capsules – Xtralife: Product responsible for helping to cleanse the colon and prevent diseases.

Treatments and Recommendations

“Before taking any action, it is advisable to consult a doctor and a nutritionist for advice. Sometimes, these problems are not solved only with a change of habits, but with more specific therapies such as the administration of medications that tend to limit the absorption of fats and decrease appetite.”



PAULA ÁLVAREZ C. ,“Fisiología y fisiopatología de la nutrición : I Curso de Especialización en Nutrición / Fernando Cordido (ed. lit.), 2005, ISBN 84-9749-135-1, págs. 203-208 “.

Consenso SEEDO’2000 para la evaluación del sobrepeso y la obesidad y establecimiento de criterios de intervención terapéutica. (2000) Medicina Clínica vol. 115 (15).

WHO Programme of Nutrition, Family and Reproductive Health. Obesity. Preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO consultation on obesity. Ginebra, 3-5 junio, 1997. Ginebra WHO, 1998.

M.A.Y.O.C.L.I.N.I.C. (2021, 11 noviembre). Obesidad. MAYO CLINIC. https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/diseases-conditions/obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20375742