Causes, Pathophysiology, Effects on the Body, and Treatment of Obesity – Metabolic Problems Example

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"Causes, Pathophysiology, Effects on the Body, and Treatment of Obesity" is a great example of a paper on metabolic problems. Over the last decades, obesity has grown into a global health issue that reduces the productivity of millions of citizens worldwide. Not only the developed nations face the problem of obesity, but also the underdeveloped states, which signifies its increasing importance as a universal problem. This section is broadly divided as Causes, Pathophysiology, Effects on the Body, and Treatment (management). Causes There are many causes of obesity. Some can see that it is interconnected with the change in food habits, hereditary factors, and certain illnesses.

Brewis (2011) stated that “ The World Health Organization identified obesity as a major public health problem only in 1997” (p. 3). For instance, the end result of an improper diet is obesity and related problems. Similarly, energy supply related to food items underwent a rapid change because modern societies discard traditional food items. Moreover, regular exposure to fast food advertisements triggers people to consume more unhealthy food rich in calories. All this contributes to the problem of excessive weight.                         From an alternative point of view, it is the change in lifestyle that serves as a key precursor of the disease.

Zhao (2008) said that “ the relative price of caloric consumption has fallen over time contributing to the obesity epidemic in the United States” (p. 59), while Das (2010) considers obesity to be “ one of the main components of the metabolic syndrome” (p. 43). Nowadays, people are seeking jobs with less physical activity. For instance, those who work in the IT sector pay less attention to exercise since they have little time to do otherwise.

On the other hand, they consume food items with high caloric value. This sort of food consumption (say, with high calorific value) and less physical workout can make them victims of obesity. One can see that those who are under medical treatment show the tendency to consume more food. This may lead to eating disorders because, in most cases, they are not aware of the problems related to the uncontrollable consumption of food. Apart from that, the usage of certain medicines can result in weight gain even without excessive consumption of calories. Pathophysiology                     One can see that certain malfunctions of pathophysiological mechanisms within the human body can result in obesity.

Most frequently, the blame is put on genetic factors and hormonal imbalance. To be specific, the gene named leptin is one of the factors of pathophysiological malfunctioning of the human body. For instance, mutations of leptin can result in health problems related to obesity. Obviously, the presence of leptin is an influential factor that helps human beings to sense and control hunger.   This gene’ s impact on the nervous system determines human control over appetite.

Similarly, the presence of ghrelin, a substance that regulates appetite, in the human body can adversely affect one’ s food intake control. Besides, hormonal imbalance is another problem resulting in uncontrollable appetite and related obesity in general. In 2011, Lustig stated that “ if the obesity is associated with any obvious clinical findings such as mental retardation, developmental delay, dysmorphic faces, or organ-specific defects, of structure or function, then an evaluation for syndromic causes of the obesity should be pursued” (p. 64). To be specific, some hormones produced in the human body can stimulate the hypothalamus, and this can determine an individual’ s food intake.

So, it is evident that genes and hormones can deeply influence an individual’ s food intake and related obesity. Effects on the Body It is crucial to understand that the effects of obesity are not restricted to cosmetic defects. Being overweight puts extra strain on the organs and alters metabolic balance. Therefore, obesity may cause a series of health complications such as stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease (National Institute of Health, 2012). The risk of CHD increases proportionally to body weight.

As more fats reach the bloodstream, arteries gradually become obturated with cholesterol plaques. The plaques attach to the intima layer of the vessel resulting in its narrowing. The blood flow is reduced, and the myocardium lacks oxygen; such conditions manifest with acute chest pain known as angina. Furthermore, excessive intraabdominal fat is closely associated with hypertension. High blood pressure initiates a cascade of pathologic processes that finally result in major cardiovascular impairments such as arrhythmia, ventricular hypertrophy, heart failure, and stroke. Finally, chronic hyperlipidemia (an excessive amount of fats in the blood) runs the risk of type 2 diabetes; in an extensive study, it has been revealed that nearly 90% of diabetic patients are overweight.

Diabetes is the predominant cause of blindness and kidney dysfunction. Each year, over 200,000 patients die of diabetic complications (Obesity Society, 2015). Treatment (management)                       The optimal way to approach the problem of obesity is to control one’ s food consumption. This is important because dieting can force the human body to consume fat and limit the accumulation of the same.

Aiyana (2007) stated that “ the most effective treatment for overweight and obesity are a combination of dietary change (to lower calorie and lower fat diets), changes in exercise behavior patterns, and overall behavior change therapy, or, as we practitioners of Chinese medicine would say, lifestyle changes” (p. 4-5). When an individual takes control over his/her regular food intake, there are lower chances that fats will deposit in the body. Similarly, regular exercise can burn human fat and result in the proper functioning of organs. Therefore, it is important for an obese person to take control of his/her food consumption and must undergo regular exercise.

If the aforementioned ideas prove to fail, surgery can help such individual to keep himself/herself away from the clutches of obesity. However, surgery is not an ideal option due to possible complications, and, thus, is not recommended for moderately overweight people. In brief, the influence of obesity can be limited by adopting different techniques, but an obese person must realize that obesity can result in unimaginable health problems.                         To conclude, some people consider obesity a less serious health status and some others consider it an incurable disease.

Apparently, the truth lies somewhere between the aforementioned observations. If one is ready to change one’ s lifestyle, it is very easy to keep oneself away from obesity. Hereditary factors and hormonal imbalance can result in obesity in human beings. Obesity can be rectified with the help of certain innovative ideas like limiting one’ s food consumption, proper exercise, and in the end, surgery. In short, it is important to consider obesity as a noticeable change in one’ s health status because it is a lifestyle disease.



Aiyana J. (2007). Chinese Medicine & Healthy Weight Management: An Evidence-based Integrated Approach. Boulder, C.O: Blue Poppy Enterprises.

Brewis, A.A. (2011). Obesity: Cultural and Biocultural Perspectives. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Das, U.N. Metabolic Syndrome Pathophysiology: The Role of Essential Fatty Acids. Ames, IA: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

Lustig, R.H. (2011). Obesity Before Birth: Maternal and prenatal influences on the offspring. San Francisco, CA: Springer Science & Business Media, 2010.

National Institute of Health. (2012, July 13). What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity?Retrieved May 4, 2015, from topics/topics/obe/risks

Obesity Society. (2015, February 6). Your Weight and Diabetes. Retrieved May 4, 2015, from

Zhao, Z. (2008). Neighborhood Effects on Obesity. Chicago, IL: ProQuest, 2008.

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