Obesity has proven to be a gateway to ill health. It has already reached epidemic proportions becoming one of the leading causes of death and disability in Europe and world-wide. Obesity plays a central role in the development of a number of risk factors and chronic diseases like hypertension, dyslipidaemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus inducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Therefore weight management plays a central role in controlling the respective risk factors and their consequences. Obesity is a complex condition of multifactorial origin. Biological but also psychological and social factors interfere to lead to excess body weight and its deleterious outcomes. Obesity management cannot focus any more only on weight (and BMI) reduction. More attention is to be paid to waist circumference (or waist-to-hip ratio, especially in females), the improvement in body composition (measured with body composition tracking systems like BOD POD, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry or bioelectrical impedance analysis) which is focusing on ameliorating or maintaining fat-free mass and decreasing fat mass. Management of co-morbidities, improving quality of life and well-being of obese patients are also included in treatment aims. This statement emphasises the importance of a comprehensive approach to obesity management.
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