Public Health

Obesity – A Disease?

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Researchers now recognize that obesity does not simply result from willful overeating and laziness, but from the complex interaction of genetic, metabolic, behavioral, and environmental factors. Numerous organizations, including the World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, and the American Obesity Association, have come out in favor of declaring obesity a disease, rather than viewing it as a moral failing or a lifestyle choice. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are already termed diseases. For both physical assessment and epidemiological studies, Body Mass Index (BMI) is still in common use and includes the following categorizations:

  • Underweight: BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2
  • Normal weight: BMI of 18.5-24.9 kg/m2
  • Overweight: 25.0-29.9 kg/m2
  • Class I Obese: 30.0-34.9 kg/m2
  • Class II Obese: 35.0-39.9 kg/m2
  • Class III Obese: >40 kg/m2

The drugs and devices covered in this report have been grouped into the following modalities:

  • Drugs
    • Satiety
    • Malabsorption
    • Appetite suppression
    • Combination drugs
  • Medical devices
    • Restrictive
    • Artificial fullness
    • Malabsorption
    • Gastric emptying
    • Appetite suppression

The total market for obesity treatments in 2009 was estimated to be $1,270.1 million, led by restriction devices at $397.2 million, or 31% of the global market. The pharmaceutical modalities overall accounted for a larger percentage of total revenues (67%) than did medical devices (33%).

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I serve the interests of medical technology company decision-makers, venture-capitalists, and others with interests in medtech producing worldwide analyses of medical technology markets for my audience of mostly medical technology companies (but also rapidly growing audience of biotech, VC, and other healthcare decision-makers). I have a small staff and go to my industry insiders (or find new ones as needed) to produce detailed, reality-grounded analyses of current and potential markets and opportunities. I am principally interested in those core clinical applications served by medical devices, which are expanding to include biomaterials, drug-device hybrids and other non-device technologies either competing head-on with devices or being integrated with devices in product development. The effort and pain of making every analysis global in scope is rewarded by my audience's loyalty, since in the vast majority of cases they too have global scope in their businesses. Specialties: Business analysis through syndicated reports, and select custom engagements, on medical technology applications and markets in general/abdominal/thoracic surgery, interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, patient monitoring/management, wound management, cell therapy, tissue engineering, gene therapy, nanotechnology, and others.
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