Obesity is associated with a broad range of GI health risks. An expert panel discussed these risks, which were documented in abstracts presented at the 2010 ACG Scientific Meeting. The panel included Amy Foxx-Orenstein, DO, and David Johnson, MD; the moderator was Walter Coyle, MD.
Among the health risks related to obesity are:
1. Up-regulation of inflammatory mediator hormones, including cytokines involved in the transformation of normal cells to cancer cells. Evidence suggests that obesity itself, not diet choices, appears to be the important independent risk factor for this process.
2. This up-regulation is thought to be involved in the increased risk of GI cancers seen in obese cohorts.
3. Cohorts of obese patients with Crohn disease have more severe forms of the disease, with more strictures, fistulas, and surgeries required.