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Obesity is a global health problem - this is how GLP-1 medication helps with weight loss

You're not alone

Overweight and obesity are increasing among both women and men, and across all ages, and are so commonly occurring worldwide that the World Health Organization (WHO) speaks of a global obesity epidemic. Morbid overweight or obesity, as it is called in technical language, is one of the world's greatest medical challenges and a colossal social problem. WHO classified morbid overweight as a chronic disease in 1997, and in 2021 the EU did the same. It is a ticking time bomb that causes great suffering for those affected, their relatives, and not least the entire society.

The fact that the average weight is also increasing among children and young people is particularly worrying because they have to live many years with their extra kilos, and it affects the body and health to a greater extent. Obesity is a very common disease, many experts argue that it should be considered chronic because it is very difficult to lose weight and maintain a lower weight in a longer-term perspective.

Global overweight and obesity

The estimates for global levels of overweight and obesity (BMI ≥25kg/m²), also referred to as high BMI throughout World Obesitas Atlas 2023, suggest that over4 billion people may be affected by 2035, compared with over 2.6 billion in2020. This reflects an increase from 38% of the world’s population in 2020 to over 50% by 2035 (figures exclude children under 5 years old).

The prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥30kg/m²) alone is anticipated to rise from 14% to24% of the population over the same period, affecting nearly 2 billion adults, children and adolescents by 2035.

European Region

The prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in the European Region is predicted to rise during the period 2020 to 2035, with 14% of girls and 21% of boys expected to be affected by obesity by 2035. For adults, obesity is predicted to affect 35% of all women and 39% of all men by 2035. The economic impact of high BMI is predicted to rise above US$800 billion annually by 2035(at constant 2019 punds), equivalent to 2.6% of the region’s GDP at the time.

Obestity on the rise also in UK.

The Health Survey for England 2021 estimates that 25.9% of adults in England are obese and a further 37.9% are overweight but not obese. Obesity is usually defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. BMI between 25 and 30 is classified as ‘overweight’.

Regional and gender differences

In all age groups there are gender differences, but also regional differences in the prevalence of overweight and obesity.

Stigmatization due to body weight

Many people who are overweight or obese feel that they are treated and treated badly, both within the healthcare system and in society at large. As a reaction to this, body activism has become a phenomenon that is spreading, especially in social media. There is a lot of prejudice about obesity, and some have an image that people who weigh too much are a burden on society, that people with obesity should address their eating problems in order not to burden the social economy with something that they themselves have caused. Weight shaming and weight bullying, our culture where a thin body signals success, and the psychological pressure from various quarters can have serious consequences, and for example lead to feelings of shame, isolation, mental illness and low self-esteem.​​

Hunger and satiety are controlled by hormones

Making another attempt to lose weight means - for most people who have tried a number of diets and an even greater number of times - often another failure, and not as simple as "eat less and exercise more". We know today that it is much more complicated to fight against hunger and cravings. Instead of more Yo-Jo dieting, medical treatment is a support for making the lifestyle changes necessary for you to lose weight and then maintain the lower weight. New revolutionary research now has a solution to this, and thanks to medications that reduce hunger and cravings, it is now easier for anyone struggling to lose weight. The medicines do not make you lose weight quickly, and are not a quick-fix, but a method to help you change habits in a long-term perspective. The treatment consists of hormones that suppress hunger and make you more full, and that you avoid the constant reminders that make you want to eat more and more often. It's tough to be hungry, it's one of the strong driving forces that have made humans as a species survive. Not being able to stick to the decision to change your eating habits is not a failure - it is completely natural not to be able to resist. Now there is hope with the help of modern medicines and easily accessible support for lifestyle changes via the digital healthcare provider Yazen.

To overcome obesity in UK, we at Yazen can help you with your weight journey and reach your goal with sustainable weight loss.

Calculate your BMI here.

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Increased health risk with obesity

Patients with obesity are at increased risk for a range of serious health problems and medical conditions. It is important to note that the degree of risk varies depending on the degree of obesity, the individual's genetic predisposition and other factors. Physician-guided medical weight loss combined with healthy diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes can significantly reduce these risks and improve overall health.


People with a BMI over 40 have only a 50 percent chance of living to 70. Many die prematurely.

Studies conducted by Novo Nordisk show that one of the medications, semaglutide, reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke by as much as 20 percent among obese patients.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a 5 percent weight loss reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 50 percent. While a 10 percent weight loss reduces the risk by 80 percent.

Here are some of the main risks for people with obesity:‍

Heart disease

Obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke. Adipose tissue can produce inflammatory substances that negatively affect the blood vessels.

Type 2 diabetes

Obesity is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes. Overweight and obesity affect the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, which leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Sleep apnea

People with obesity have an increased risk of sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing is repeatedly disrupted during sleep, which can lead to poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue.​​

Fatty liver

Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis, is a disease in which abnormal amounts of fat accumulate in the liver. Obesity is a common cause of this condition and can lead to liver damage.


Being overweight puts stress on the joints, especially the knees and hips, which increases the risk of osteoarthritis and other joint problems.


Certain forms of cancer, including breast, colon and ovarian cancer, have been shown to be more frequent in people who are obese.​​

Mental illness

Obesity can increase the risk of depression and anxiety. It can also negatively affect self-esteem and body image.‍

Reproductive problems

Obese women may experience problems with fertility and the menstrual cycle. Being obese during pregnancy can also increase the risk of complications.‍

Breathing problems

Being overweight can limit lung function and increase the risk of breathing problems such as asthma.‍

Premature death

People who are obese are generally at a higher risk of premature death compared to people who are at a healthy weight.

Health benefits of weight loss

Losing excess weight can not only change your appearance, but also revolutionize your health. In the table we show the health benefits of losing weight and how it can improve your quality of life and let you be motivated to start your own journey towards a healthier life.

What happens during weight loss?‍


Reduced blood pressure, improved blood sugar.


Weight loss provides a 50% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Reduced fatty liver, reduced osteoarthritis symptoms, reduced blood fats, improved PCOS, reduced sleep apnea symptoms, reduced asthma symptoms, improved urinary incontinence.

10% weight loss gives 80% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Reduced risk of serious fatty liver disease/cirrhosis, Cured sleep apnea, Cured osteoarthritis.​​


Reduced risk of cardiovascular death, Remission of type 2 diabetes, reduced heart failure.

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Read more  to understand what health benefits you can achieve, what treatment options are available and how you can regulate your appetite.

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Here are some scientific references that support the aforementioned health risks for people with obesity


Cardiovascular diseases:

Pi-Sunyer, FX (2002). Medical hazards of obesity . Annals of Internal Medicine, 136(11), 857-864.

Poirier, P., Giles, TD, Bray, GA, Hong, Y., Stern, JS, Pi-Sunyer, FX, & Eckel, RH (2006). Obesity and cardiovascular disease: pathophysiology, evaluation, and effect of weight loss. Circulation, 113(6), 898-918.

Here is a summary of the two studies on cardiovascular disease:

Pi-Sunyer (2002) in " Medical hazards of obesity ":

The study highlights the medical risks associated with obesity. The author discusses that obesity can increase the risk of various health problems and diseases, including cardiovascular disease. It emphasizes the importance of managing and preventing obesity to reduce these risks.

The study " Medical Hazards of Obesity " by F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2002, aims to highlight the medical dangers associated with obesity. The author explores and describes the health risks and medical complications that can arise due to overweight and obesity.

The study discusses several important aspects of obesity and its impact on health. The author addresses the following points:

Health Effects: Pi-Sunyer reviews the many medical problems that can occur as a result of obesity. This includes diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint problems, and certain types of cancer. Risk increase: The study emphasizes that the risk of these diseases and health problems increases proportionally with the degree of obesity. This means that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) have a greater risk of suffering from these diseases.‍

Pathophysiology: The author discusses the biological and physiological mechanisms that link obesity to increased risk of disease. It includes changes in insulin resistance, inflammation, blood lipids, and other metabolic processes.‍

Importance of weight loss: The study underscores the importance of weight loss as a strategy to reduce the medical dangers associated with obesity. The author points out that even a moderate weight loss can have positive health effects.‍

Treatment Options: Finally, treatment options for obesity are discussed, including lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, and in some cases drugs or surgery.‍

In conclusion, Pi-Sunyer's study is a comprehensive overview of the medical dangers that obesity can bring. It emphasizes the importance of managing and preventing obesity to reduce the risk of serious health problems, particularly cardiovascular disease. The study serves as an important resource for healthcare professionals as well as the general public who want to understand the link between obesity and health.

Poirier et al. (2006) in "Obesity and cardiovascular disease: pathophysiology, evaluation, and effect of weight loss":

This study focuses on the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease. The authors discuss the pathophysiology behind this association and emphasize the importance of evaluating and treating obesity to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. They also discuss the effects of weight loss on improving cardiovascular health.

The study "Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease: Pathophysiology, Evaluation, and Effect of Weight Loss" by Poirier and co-authors, published in the journal Circulation in 2006, aims to shed light on the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease and to discuss the pathophysiological mechanisms behind this relationship . The study also focuses on how weight loss can affect cardiovascular health.

Here is a summary of the main points of the study:

Obesity and cardiovascular disease: The study emphasizes that obesity is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. The authors discuss how obesity can lead to the development of these diseases.

Pathophysiological Mechanisms: Poirier and co-authors review the complex biological and physiological mechanisms by which obesity affects cardiovascular health. This includes insulin resistance, inflammation, high blood pressure and changes in blood lipids.

The positive effects of weight loss: The study points out that weight loss can have significant benefits for cardiovascular health. It can improve risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and glucose metabolism.

Challenges in Achieving Weight Loss: The authors address the challenges that obese patients may face when trying to lose weight and discuss various strategies for achieving and maintaining weight loss.

Treatment options: Finally, the study discusses different treatment options for people with obesity that aim to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This includes lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and, in some cases, medication or surgery.‍

In summary, Poirier and coauthors provide a comprehensive overview of the association between obesity and cardiovascular disease. The study highlights the importance of managing obesity as a strategy to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications. It serves as a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and researchers working in the field of cardiovascular health and obesity.

Both studies emphasize that obesity is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and emphasize the importance of preventing and treating obesity to improve long-term cardiovascular health.

Type 2 Diabetes:

Kahn, SE, Hull, RL, & Utzschneider, KM (2006). Mechanisms linking obesity to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Nature, 444(7121), 840-846.

Hossain, P., Kawar, B., & El Nahas, M. (2007). Obesity and diabetes in the developing world—a growing challenge. New England Journal of Medicine, 356(3), 213-215.

Sleep apnea:

Young, T., Peppard, PE, & Taheri, S. (2005). Excess weight and sleep-disordered breathing. Journal of Applied Physiology, 99(4), 1592-1599.

Punjabi, NM (2008). The epidemiology of adult obstructive sleep apnea. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 5(2), 136-143.

Fatty liver:

Neuschwander-Tetri, BA (2010). Hepatic lipotoxicity and the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: the central role of nontriglyceride fatty acid metabolites. Hepatology, 52(2), 774-788.

Ratziu, V., Bellentani, S., Cortez-Pinto, H., Day, C., Marchesini, G. (2010). A position statement on NAFLD/NASH based on the EASL 2009 special conference. Journal of Hepatology, 53(2), 372-384.


Blagojevic, M., Jinks, C., Jeffery, A., & Jordan, KP (2010). Risk factors for onset of osteoarthritis of the knee in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 18(1), 24-33.

Oliveria, SA, Felson, DT, Cirillo, PA, Reed, JI, & Walker, AM (1999). Body weight, body mass index, and incident symptomatic osteoarthritis of the hand, hip, and knee. Epidemiology, 10(2), 161-166.


Calle, EE, Rodriguez, C., Walker-Thurmond, K., & Thun, MJ (2003). Overweight, obesity, and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of US adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(17), 1625-1638.

Renehan, AG, Tyson, M., Egger, M., Heller, RF, & Zwahlen, M. (2008). Body-mass index and incidence of cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. The Lancet, 371(9612), 569-578.

Mental illness:

Luppino, FS, de Wit, LM, Bouvy, PF, Stijnen, T., Cuijpers, P., Penninx, BW, & Zitman, FG (2010). Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67(3), 220-229.

Atlantis, E., & Baker, M. (2008). Obesity effects on depression: systematic review of epidemiological studies. International Journal of Obesity, 32(6), 881-891.

Reproductive problems:

Pasquali, R., Patton, L., & Gambineri, A. (2007). Obesity and infertility. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 13(33), 3649-3657.

Bellver, J., Pellicer, A., García-Velasco, JA, & Ballesteros, A. (2013). Obesity reduces uterine receptivity: clinical experience from 9,587 first cycles of ovum donation with normal weight donors. Fertility and Sterility, 100(4), 1050-1058.

Breathing problems:

Wang, Y., Beydoun, MA, Liang, L., Caballero, B., & Kumanyika, SK (2008). Will all Americans become overweight or obese? Estimating the progression and cost of the US obesity epidemic. Obesity, 16(10), 2323-2330.

Castro-Rodriguez, JA, Holberg, CJ, Morgan, WJ, Wright, AL, & Martinez, FD (2001). Increased incidence of asthmalike symptoms in girls who become overweight or obese during the school years. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 163(6), 1344-1349.

Premature Death:

Adams, KF, Schatzkin, A., Harris, TB, Kipnis, V., Mouw, T., Ballard-Barbash, R., ... & Leitzmann, MF (2006). Overweight, obesity, and mortality in a large prospective cohort of persons 50 to 71 years old. New England Journal of Medicine, 355(8), 763-778.

Peeters, A., Barendregt, JJ, Willekens, F., Mackenbach, JP, Al Mamun, A., & Bonneux, L. (2003). Obesity in adulthood and its consequences for life expectancy: a life-table analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 138(1), 24-32.

These references provide an overview of the scientific literature on the risks to people with obesity. It is important to note that this is only a sample and that there is much more research in this area.