European Obesity Day

Obesity and the weight of “gravity”. Obesity is linked to changing lifestyles and some environmental and economic conditions, but not only…

Obesity currently affects 1.4 billion people over the age of 20 worldwide, with 2.8 million people dying from obesity each year.1

The World Health Organization (OMS) defines overweight and obesity as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health”. Obesity should be considered a disease. It can have many psychological and social complications, but especially, physical complications: diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, joint damage, sources of disability, and some cancers.

Although inaccurate, body mass index (BMI), correlated with the amount of body fat, is the most commonly used measurement to assess the population’s excess weight and obesity. It is measured by dividing a person’s weight (in kg) by the square of their height (in m²). The WHO considers a person with a BMI greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2 as being overweight and a person with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2 as obese. A more precise measurement can be obtained by radiologic analysis (DEXA – Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) of morphometry and body composition.

Obesity is linked to changing lifestyles and some environmental and economic conditions. It is also promoted by:

  • Eating disorders (excessive calorie intake)
  • Psychological disorders (stress can generate compensation through food)
  • Genetic factors (70% of obese people have at least one relative in the same situation)
  • Lack of sleep (epidemiological association between short sleep and high body mass index shown by different studies)
  • Insufficient daily energy expenditure (lack of daily physical exercise, sedentary lifestyle)

Alter-G: an anti-gravity treadmill developed by NASA

Alter-G uses a technology originally designed by NASA. It enables training sessions while decreasing the impact of weight and load on lower limb joints (hips, knees, ankles and feet).

This treadmill is particularly beneficial for weight management exercises: conditioning, maintaining caloric expenditure, carrying out safe exercises, enabling target body weight to be felt and drawing motivation from this feeling, decreasing weight-related injuries, etc.

Alter-G uses a state-of-the-art, differential air pressure technology. It generates a powerful lifting force, producing a precise weightlessness ranging from 20% to 100% (full load) of body weight. The runner wears zipped neoprene shorts in the airtight chamber, which is pressurised and calibrated to allow full control of weight reduction. The load can then be adjusted to the pain threshold, allowing the physiotherapist to precisely measure and track progress.

Nescens Clinique de Genolier is an establishment specialising in preventive health, the management of lifestyle-related diseases and better ageing. The doctors at its Preventive Medicine Centre offer a variety of check-ups and specialised health assessments, one of which is specifically aimed at people with complications typically associated with being overweight: La Cure Nescens.

  1. WHO data