“Eat less and move more.” These were the first words he heard Jesus Javier Diaz when I was only 8 years old. At that moment he knew he was a “obese child” and that it would be the medical “prescription” that would accompany him throughout his life.
In the National Obese Daywhich is celebrated every December 14, Díaz answers us by phone to tell us about his experience.
Since then, his life has become a succession of diets, without much success. And after trying all kinds of diets to lose weighteven pills without scientific proof, specialized in dietary research and is now dedicated to helping people with the same disease.
Díaz is responsible for National Association of Obese People (ASEPO), and today He works as a nutritional coach and is a science communicator.
- “In the four decades that I have been living with obesity, no one has given me an answer to my problem, so I had to train to understand the complexity of this disease,” he explains to this newspaper.
In Spain, according to the World Obesity Observatory:
- 37.8% of adults weigh more than recommended.
- And 16% are obese.
The numbers have continued to increase since 2010experts therefore estimate that in 2030, the prevalence of obesity will be 37%.
Obesity, a multifactorial disease, but underestimated
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) defines obesity as a chronic disease based on adiposity. Although there is some disagreement regarding this term, not all organizations consider obesity to be a disease. However, Díaz is clear:
- “Obesity is a progressive and irreversible disease“, he emphasizes. But, he assures, it does not benefit from the same treatment as other pathologies such as diabetes. “Once the diagnosis is made, you have to take care of yourself for life. »
It is therefore a disease which, according to World Health Organization (WHO), it’s a “discomfort”that is, it can be modified “with healthy lifestyle habits.” But this is not the case. “It is a mistake, since it is a disease that you will have until you die.
- “It’s a metabolic disease, which once fat hypertrophy occurs in your cells, becomes irreversible. When a person is obese, they can’t help it. It is not the same with excess weight, which can be combated. »
And obesity has a impact not only on oneself health physically, but also emotionally. And even more so in the early years, when Jesús Javier was “diagnosed”.
Besides the low self-esteem and the social isolation that obese children can suffer from, certain problems that are not typical of the little ones are common:
- Sleep problems
- Cardiovascular illnesses.
“The drawer diet”
The protocolssaid Jesus Javier, They haven’t changed in the last 30 years. Obese people who visit the doctor end up with the same treatment: diet and exercise. A low-calorie dietwhich he himself defined as the “box diet”, because it is generic for everyoneand patients are forced to look for other alternatives, which are not always the most recommended for health.
- “I tried the grapefruit diet, the peach diet, the maple syrup diet… And obviously none of them worked for me. But I started from complete ignorance, like the majority of obese people.”
But it’s not all bad news. Jesús Javier managed to manage his illness and lives “perfectly” with her. Actually, He managed to lose 60 kilos. However, he insists that obesity “We must treat it, not cure it”.
- “My hobby horse is to obtain that in primary care there is an interdisciplinary team composed of four basic professionals to treat this disease: an endocrinologist, a nutritionist, a psychologist or psychiatrist and a sports doctor.
This is what happens, he emphasizes, “today with the illness of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder”.
The Ozempic revolution: “Don’t make me pay”
In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has launched different treatments against obesity on the market, although Díaz emphasizes that these drugs “do not cure the disease”, neither on an organic, physical level, nor on a psychosocial level.
These are “palliative” treatments and not curative. that from ASEPO they believe that “they should be supported by the National health system (SNS) and never by the patient himself as is currently the case.
It is for this reason that this organization emphasizes that “if this medication is prescribed, like the famous weight-loss injections, we should not be charged extra for them.”
However, ASEPO still recommends that the best long-term treatment is to “modify eating and exercise habits”.
They created “our own tool” to fight obesity in the world with the development of “Guide for obese patients”, which is available for free on their website.