Over 4 million deaths per year caused by obesity | 每年超過 400 萬人死於肥胖

Editor’s note: Are there really so many people who are obese?  We do not know for sure.  But it is likely that many people are obese, and obesity per se and the factors that cause obesity are detrimental to one’s health.  Good news is that obesity is easy to prevent by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle.  No one can say that only medical treatments can help treat obesity.   Some medical treatments such as surgery are extremely invasive and very harmful.
編者按:肥胖的人真的有這麼多嗎? 我們不確定。 但是很可能很多人都肥胖,而肥胖本身和導致肥胖的因素對一個人的健康是有害的。 好消息是肥胖很容易通過採用健康的飲食和生活方式來預防。 沒有人能說只有藥物治療才能幫助治療肥胖症。 一些醫學治療,例如手術,是極具侵入性且非常有害的。
News Release

Over 4 million deaths per year caused by obesity

Safe, non-invasive obesity treatments could help end epidemic

Peer-Reviewed Publication

The Endocrine Society

WASHINGTON—Novel obesity treatments such as modulation of the gut microbiome and gene therapy are underutilized and could help fight the obesity epidemic, according to a new manuscript published in the Endocrine Society’s journal, Endocrine Reviews.

Nearly half of the adults and 20 percent of children in the United States have obesity, yet doctors are under prescribing effective weight loss medications and many patients are not receiving the treatment they need. The weight stigma that exists in healthcare settings makes people with obesity hesitant to seek care until comorbidities develop and reach a dangerous stage. Lack of insurance coverage and cost issues are another factor that creates barriers to obesity treatment.

“Obesity is the epidemic crisis of our time. The disease leads to serious comorbidities such as diabetes, fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease and significantly shortens a person’s length and quality of life,” said Christos S. Mantzoros, M.D., Sc.D., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass. “Until recently we did not understand the genetic and hormonal causes of obesity and how obesity leads to these comorbidities. We have recently started to understand the causes of obesity in humans, which is a big discovery that has led to designing effective therapies.”

In the article, the researchers map out the molecular and hormonal pathways that lead to obesity and the disease’s related comorbidities. This data gives researchers the insights they need to design, test and implement new obesity therapies.

The researchers highlight the need for safer and more effective obesity therapies, including new drug delivery systems, vaccines, modulation of the gut microbiome and gene therapy. Novel medications, including combinations of gastrointestinal hormones and other molecules, are being tested and are expected to lead to significant percentages of weight loss with less side effects once available. As our understanding of obesity improves, more effective medications with fewer side effects will be developed.

Recently approved medications such as semaglutide, a modified gastrointestinal hormone administered once a week, can lead to 15% weight loss when combined with lifestyle changes. Bariatric surgery can lead to up to 40% weight loss, but it is invasive and linked to complications.

“Insurance companies need to pay attention to data from studies and the scientific progress we are making and start covering the medications that are and will be approved soon, given that currently only a small minority of patients with obesity have coverage for the medications and medical care they need,” Mantzoros said. “It would be much more cost effective to cover treatments early instead of waiting for comorbidities and their complications to develop.”

Other authors of the study include: Angeliki Angelidi and Matthew Belanger of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., and Alexander Kokkinos and Chrysi Koliaki of Laiko General Hospital in Athens, Greece.  The research received no external funding.

The manuscript, “Novel Non-invasive Approaches to the Treatment of Obesity: From Pharmacotherapy to Gene Therapy,” was published online, ahead of print.

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Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

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