Obesity and Metabolic Disorders

Obesity is a condition in which a person has excess body fat. Obesity can increase a person's risk of diseases and health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. It is a complex problem and a major public health concern, both in the United States and worldwide. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility.  A few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications, or mental disorder. The view that obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is not medically supported. On average, obese people have greater energy expenditure than their normal counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.

A metabolic disorder occurs when the metabolism process fails and causes the body to have either too much or too little of the essential substances needed to stay healthy. Metabolic disorders can take many forms a missing enzyme or vitamin that’s necessary for an important chemical reaction, abnormal chemical reactions that hinder metabolic processes and disease in the liver, pancreas, endocrine glands, or other organs involved in metabolism. Metabolic disorders can be present at birth, and many can be identified by routine screening. If a metabolic disorder is not identified early, then it may be diagnosed later in life, when symptoms appear. Specific blood and DNA tests can be done to diagnose genetic metabolic disorders. The gut microbiota, which is a population of microorganisms that live in the human digestive system, also has an important part in metabolism and generally has a positive function for its host.

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