Obesity is a major public problem is western
society. In 20032004, 67% of adults (2074 years of
age) were overweight (includes obese), of whom 34% were obese.
The exact etiology of obesity still remains unclear. Many contributing
factors have been studied including, genetics, neuroendocrinology,
energy intake, and energy expenditure. Aside from physical activity,
treatments for obesity have involved dietary, psychological,
pharmacological, surgical approaches. A more holistic approach
has seemed to surface from a variety of these models.
Obesity has been linked to increased risk for development
of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, coronary artery disease,
and orthopedic injury. In addition, obese individuals often possess
feelings of insecurity, decreased self-esteem, and negative social
stigma. Obesity has been found to be related to recessed values
of anaerobic threshold and aerobic capacity.
Exercise has been found to have many benefits in the treatment
of obesity. When safety precautions are recognized, obese individuals
can safely participate in an exercise program. Although exercise
alone is probably insufficient to bring about significant fat
loss, the combination of modest caloric restriction and physical
training may be necessary to induce favorable changes in body
composition. The addition of weight training to a weight loss
program may also offer favorable effects for obese individuals.
Regular exercise is one of the best predictors of weight maintenance.