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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 22 (2008), Issue 1, Pages 61-68

Obesity: A Review of Pathogenesis and Management Strategies

Brinderjit Kaila and Maitreyi Raman

Department of Gastroenterology and Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Received 20 June 2007; Accepted 27 June 2007

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The prevalence of obesity in the developed world is increasing. Approximately 23% of adult Canadians (5.5 million people) are obese. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several comorbid diseases, ranging from cardiovascular diseases to cholelithiasis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The etiology of obesity is multifactorial, involving a complex interaction among genetics, hormones and the environment. The available evidence and recommendations for nonpharmacological management of obesity, including dietary therapy, physical activity and behavioural therapy, in addition to pharmacotherapy are discussed. A brief discussion on endoscopic and surgical procedures is undertaken. Several antiobesity treatment options are available and may be indicated in appropriate situations. Selecting obesity therapy may be guided by body mass index measurements, comorbid illnesses and patient preference.