The epidemic of obesity represents a huge challenge for the 21st public health and clinicians. Despite intensive research on obesity over the last 30 years, the problem of obesity has continued to increase worldwide. Although we know more about the biological drivers of energy balance, new paradigms are needed to combat this growing epidemic as it is a societal condition.
Closely related to the growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, obesity is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. However, obesity is not a homogeneous condition as several forms can be found:

  • Massive obesity
  • Abdominal obesity
  • Childhood obesity

The International Chair of Cardiometabolik Risk is focusing on abdominal obesity.

It has been shown that some obese patients have no clinical signs of type 2 diabetes or risks of cardiovascular diseases whereas other patients – who may be only slightly or moderately overweight – have a metabolic profile that predisposes them to such diseases. Studies have pointed out that the health risk does not necessarily depend on excess body weight, but rather on the location of the fat. Storing too much in what is called the visceral and ectopic fat depots (liver, heart, and muscle) is to be associated with higher risk of developing a cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.

Abodminal obesity JPD

Several studies have shown that a selective excess of abdominal fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes even in the absence of obesity. For example, some very obese individuals have normal blood pressure and normal blood glucose despite having a large amount of fat.