Obesity is a state in which excess body fat – usually defined as 20% or more above ideal weight – may pose a risk to health. Excess weight contributes to several diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, certain forms of cancer (such as colon cancer), gallstones, gout, osteoarthritis, and obstructive sleep apnea.

The WHO defines overweight and obesity as a body-mass index of 25 and 30, respectively. (Body-mass index is found by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters: kg/m2.) Globally, the WHO considers overweight and obesity the fifth leading risk of death.

Obesity is a major public health risk that is on the rise, and often results from a combination of causes, including genetics and behavior. Weight problems can be countered by using exercise, counseling and support, and sometimes medication, to supplement dieting. Gastric bypass and gastric banding are accepted surgical treatments for intractable cases of obesity.

Neuromodulation has been explored as a treatment option for obesity, and is considered less invasive than gastric bypass or gastric banding. Neuromodulation approaches to obesity that have been studied include vagus nerve stimulation, vagus nerve block, gastric stimulation, sympathetic nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation.

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Similar to the heart, the stomach has electrical activity that orchestrates muscle contractions . . .

Reviewed April 2, 2012
Jaimie M. Henderson, MD
Director-at-Large, International Neuromodulation Society, 2011 - 2014
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, and, By Courtesy, of Neurology and Neurological Sciences; Robert and Ruth Halperin Faculty Scholar; Director, Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery; Co-Director, Neural Prosthetics Translational Laboratory; Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA

Last Updated on Monday, November 22, 2021 11:01 AM