Health Articles

“Obesity”, a Silent Threat that Poses a Risk of Illness


“Obesity” rate is continuously increasing every year, especially among working-age populations who have limited time for self-care. Obesity occurs when there is an excess accumulation of body fats, raising the risk of developing many diseases, such as:  

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Obese patients tend to have excess fats in the neck. This leads to the narrowing of the airways, causing airway obstructions and the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. 
  • Heart disease: Obesity tends to contribute to the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease, which may progress into a myocardial infarction. 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Many patients with obesity have a higher intra-abdominal pressure that may lead to the development of GERD. 
  • Fatty liver disease: Causes by overeating. Twenty percent of patients with obesity also have fatty liver disease.
  • Irregular periods: Overweight or obesity in women may lead to abnormal menstruation or irregular periods.
  • Osteoarthritis: Oftentimes, patients with obesity have extra pressure put on their knee joints and knee joints with excess fat tissues compress and destroy the surface of cartilage, resulting in accelerated progression of osteoarthritis. 

The primary indicator of obesity is the body mass index (BMI). People in general should have a BMI of 18.5-22.9 kg/m2. A BMI index above 25 is considered pre-obesity, and if the number is over 30, the patient has a high risk of developing complications and therefore, should immediately undergo a weight-loss process.

Currently, there is an alternative weight loss procedure, which is an endoscopic intragastric balloon. The process is done by placing a saline-filled silicone balloon in the stomach through an endoscopic procedure. The purpose of the balloon is to help the patients to feel fuller quicker and reduce the portion of the food they will consume. This will lead to weight loss and keep the body weight in the normal range. Those who have a risk of obesity and are seeking a way to lose weight are recommended to consult with a doctor to prevent possible complications.

Gastroenterology and Hepatology Center
Tel. 02-734-0000 Ext. 2960, 2961, 2966

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