The following is a summary of the “Treating chronic diseases without tackling excess adiposity promotes multimorbidity,” published in the January 2023 issue of Diabetes and Endocrinology by Sattar, et al.

These days, it’s unusual for someone to live to old age without first being prescribed multiple medications, then visiting various doctors and hospitals, and finally undergoing tertiary investigations. Most chronic conditions are, to differing extents, caused or exacerbated by excess adiposity, but weight management is rarely discussed or attempted for patients. 

Furthermore, progressive symptoms usually attributed to aging (e.g., musculoskeletal pains, fatigue, and breathlessness), which create considerable healthcare demands, can also be attributed to the accumulation of body fat over time. For many symptoms and diseases more frequently reported in people with excess adiposity (such as depression), potentially multidirectional, causal relationships generate a cycle of clinical and social deterioration. 

There is insufficient research on the effects of effective weight management on these clinically demanding, age and weight-mediated symptoms. Based on current evidence, they suggest that policymakers need to be more proactive in obesity prevention, and effective weight management should receive research funding to match the search for novel therapeutics for secondary chronic diseases.