Obesity is a condition in which excess build-up of fat leads to potentially adverse health conditions. Hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, stroke, and even cancer are more likely in people who are obese. And while multiple factors may be involved in how obesity develops in the first place, certain lifestyle and nutritional changes may be the best way to improve the condition.

Obesity is common, affecting between 10 and 14 percent of adults worldwide and approximately 25% of Canadian adults.1 It is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Obesity has recently been called a disease; is a medical concern because of the secondary health problems associated with it. Risks linked to obesity include heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer, breathing problems and kidney and liver diseases. 2* Even losing a portion of the excess fat, around 10 percent, can substantially reduce the risk of many of these secondary conditions3.

While obesity is ultimately a condition caused by an imbalance between caloric intake and daily energy expenditure,multiple factors, such as genetics, culture,environment or amount of sleep and specific medications can lead to such an imbalance and may influence unintended weight gain. While some of these factors are out of a person’s control, certain lifestyle habits may be adapted to decrease the risk of developing associated medical conditions.

As a caloric imbalance is the primary cause of obesity, correcting this imbalance may be the most effective way to address it. Both increasing activity (burning more calories) and reducing intake (eating fewer calories) can help restore a proper energy balance. At Nestlé Health Science, we are actively engaged in developing nutritional therapies to help improve conditions like obesity and the quality of life of people with such conditions.

*Risks and symptoms are not all-inclusive, patients may have different experiences.

1. Obesity in Canada: a joint report from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Ottawa: Canadian Institute for Health Information, Public Health Agency of Canada; 2011.

2. http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/obesity_text/en/. Accessed December 2014.

3. Jensen, et al. (2014) http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/129/25_suppl_2/S102

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Losing even a small amount of weight can reduce the risk of comorbidities.

Losing even a small amount of weight can reduce the risk of comorbidities. Even a 5 to 10 percent reduction in weight can help.



Starting to exercise regularly can seem like a daunting task for people who struggle with obesity. However the benefits of physical activity affect both sides of the energy equation. Regular bouts of activity can help to overcome the body’s natural tendency to maintain or even gain weight.1. So, small changes, like taking the stairs instead of elevators, parking a car farther from a destination, or going for walks after meals can all add substantial energy expenditure over the course of a day or week to an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.



Part of the reason obesity is so common and on the rise is the availability of high-calorie (especially high-fat), low-nutritional value foods (like sugary drinks). Substituting nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats, and drinking more water can help bring caloric balance under control to better deal with obesity.



A recent survey in the UK about patient attitudes towards weight and obesity showed that only 10 percent of patients who are clinically obese believe themselves to be obese. Discussing obesity and appropriate body weight with a physician or dietitian is an important step in recognizing the health risks of this condition and modifying lifestyle and diet accordingly.

Source:MacLean PS, Wing RR, Davidson T, Epstein L, Goodpaster B, Hall KD, Levin BE, Perri MG, Rools BJ, Rosenbaum M, Rothman AJ, Ryan D. NIH Working Group Report: Innovative Research to Improve Maintenance of Weight loss. Obesity (2015)23,7-15.