A Clinical Guide for Management of Overweight and Obese Children and Adults

Obesity is a metabolic disease (ICD-10 code E66) that has reached epidemic proportions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared obesity as the largest global chronic health problem in adults which is increasingly turning into a more serious problem than malnutrition. Obesity is a gateway to ill health, and it has become one of the leading causes of disability and death, affecting not only adults but also children and adolescents worldwide.

In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults (18 years and older) were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese. 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013. The WHO world health statistics report in 2015 shows that in the European region the overall obesity rate among adults is 21.5% in males and 24.5% in females. The same report states that the prevalence for overweight among children under the age of 5 is 12.4%.

It has been further projected that 60% of the world’s population, i.e. 3.3 billion people, could be overweight (2.2 billion) or obese (1.1 billion) by 2030 if recent trends continue. Obesity has important consequences for morbidity, disability and quality of life and entails a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, several common forms of cancer, osteoarthritis and other health problems. In 2010, overweight and obesity were estimated to cause 3.4 million deaths, 4% of years of life lost, and 4% of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

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