Obesity is defined as the excessive accumulation of body fat, rather than just being a few kilos overweight. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), obesity begins with a BMI (body mass index) of 30. Successful treatment of obesity often requires a combination of conservative and surgical treatment methods. Surgeons, dieticians, metabolic experts and psychologists usually work closely together in the process.
Obesity, or unhealthy excess weight, is an increasing problem in the western world and thus also in Switzerland. There are a variety of causes which are partly connected with our way of life. A lack of exercise, excessive intake of energy drinks and bad eating habits in combination with a certain metabolic disposition cause obesity in many cases. An increasing number of children and young people are also being affected by the condition.
Besides the psychological pressure and the increasing social stigmatisation, obesity is also connected with numerous concomitant illnesses. The risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes, heart-related diseases or joint disorders is greatly increased in patients with obesity. For this reason, those affected often suffer from overly high blood pressure, back and joint pain.
Different examinations are carried out to diagnose obesity. The severity of the obesity is determined by calculating the BMI. Blood tests can also indicate the presence of metabolic disorders.
Diets rarely help patients with obesity or severe excess weight to reach their goal. This often leads to a yo-yo effect when losing weight and even more pronounced weight gain afterwards. Treatment is usually only successful when the issue is addressed holistically with conservative, psychological and surgical treatment methods. Surgery is recommended from a BMI of 35. The surgical treatment is accompanied by dietary advice, psychosocial care and support to change the habits of a lifetime. Surgical treatment of obesity is also called bariatric surgery and includes different procedures such as stomach stapling or stomach bypass. Find out more about this in the obesity surgery section.