A Guide to Obesity and Clinical Trials


Obesity is a common medical condition characterized by an excessive amount of body fat, which can lead to other long-term health problems. 

The condition is often measured using body mass index, or BMI, which is a weight-to-height ratio commonly used in a healthcare setting. In most cases, a BMI of over 30 is often indicative of obesity. 

Obesity is highly prevalent in the United States, affecting an estimated 41.9% of adults as of March 2020. Studies show that these rates have been climbing over the last decade and will likely continue to worsen in the future, especially in certain groups. 

Obesity on its own isn’t inherently dangerous. However, the condition is associated with an increased risk of many other dangers, including diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, and other long-term health concerns that can have serious consequences – including premature deaths. 

Fortunately, many cases of obesity are treatable through a combination of medical guidance, exercise, and a healthy diet. Prescription weight-loss medication and weight-loss surgeries are also available for more severe cases. 

The Risks of Living With Obesity

Cardiovascular Disease

Patients with obesity are more likely to experience cardiovascular conditions like heart disease and stroke, which are two of the leading causes of death annually around the world. 

This increased risk of cardiovascular disease occurs because obesity increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. All of these conditions are precursors to more serious cardiovascular decline. 

Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, affecting how the body processes blood sugar. If not managed correctly, type 2 diabetes can lead to dangerous complications like kidney failure, blindness, and loss of lower limbs. 


Certain types of cancer, such as breast, colon, and kidney, are more common among obese patients than the general population. Cancers associated with obesity comprise 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States annually. 

Respiratory Problems

Many patients with obesity struggle with respiratory problems due to fat depositions along the chest wall. This often results in difficulty exercising, making it difficult to lose weight. Sleep apnea is also prevalent among patients with obesity. 

Mental Health Problems

In addition to physical challenges, many patients diagnosed with obesity also struggle with mental health issues, including depression. Rates of mood and anxiety disorders are 25% higher among these patients than in the general population. Additionally, many patients with obesity experience discrimination as a result of their size, which can further contribute to mental health problems. 

Why Obesity Is Challenging to Overcome

For many patients, obesity is a life-long struggle. There are many factors that make this condition challenging to overcome, even with medical support. Some of these hurdles include:


Some people are genetically predisposed to develop the condition – there are over 50 genes associated with symptoms of obesity in some form. Individuals who have a combination of these genes may struggle to lose weight, even with a healthy diet and strong exercise habits. 

Metabolic Adaptations

As patients with obesity work to lose weight, they may encounter metabolic adaptions, which prevent further weight loss if not addressed. After an initial period of weight loss, the patient’s metabolism slows down, resulting in fewer calories burned. 

This is one of our body’s built-in survival mechanisms but it can also prevent consistent weight loss. A very slow, gradual weight loss strategy helps to prevent metabolic adaptations. 

High Stress Levels

There is a correlation between high stress levels and obesity. Patients who live or work in stressful environments often struggle to lose weight. Additionally, people struggling with their stress levels often don’t have the time or energy to exercise, which can further prevent weight loss. 

Environmental Factors

Where you live can also make it very difficult to overcome obesity. For example, many patients with the condition live in food deserts and only have access to high-calorie, low-nutrient fast food options. Additionally, a lack of parks, trails, or gyms nearby makes maintaining a consistent exercise routine difficult.

Who is Predisposed to Obesity?

Certain demographics are more likely to experience obesity than others. Most notably, adults over the age of 60 are far more likely to develop obesity than children or younger adults. This is due to a variety of factors, ranging from changes in hormones to changes in their environments. 
Our racial and cultural backgrounds also affect our predisposition to obesity. For example, obesity affects 54.8% of Black women and 50.6% of Hispanic women, compared with 38% of White women.

Additionally, income and class can also affect obesity rates. People making less than $36,000 per year are statistically more likely to become obese than their counterparts that earn more.

Match With Obesity or Weight Loss Clinical Trials

Do you struggle with obesity? You may qualify for a clinical trial in your area. Tandem Clinical Research will match you with:

  • Scientific clinical studies
  • The latest obesity and weight loss treatments
  • Talented, experienced researchers

The Importance of Safe Weight Loss

Many patients with obesity fall into the trap of fad diets and workouts in an attempt to lose weight rapidly. However, many (if not most) of these “fitness” trends are ineffective for long-term weight loss and may even be dangerous. 

Trendy diets and workouts often focus on cutting out entire food groups and burning an unsustainable amount of calories each day. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and muscle loss, and it can also exacerbate pre-existing health conditions.

Individuals with obesity should seek guidance from qualified healthcare professionals. These professionals will create personalized diet and exercise routines that appropriately account for each patient’s needs and goals.

Safe weight loss should be gradual, typically occurring at a rate of one to two pounds per week. This should include a balanced diet of whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting processed foods and added sugars. 

Pairing a balanced diet with regular exercise is essential for sustainable, long-term change. Not only does this approach help obese individuals lose weight safely, but it also contributes to improved cardiovascular health, better blood sugar control, and mental well-being.

Potential Treatments to Assist With Obesity

The first step to treating obesity for many patients is making dietary changes. This usually involves reducing the daily calories consumed to create a sustainable calorie deficit. 

Additionally, patients should swap out unhealthy foods that are high in sugar and fat for healthier alternatives that contain more balanced nutrients. Nutrient-dense foods are more filling, making them less likely to overeat. 

Implementing an exercise routine is another key part of treating obesity. Not only does exercise help burn calories, but it also helps improve muscle tone, mobility, and even mood. 

The key for obesity patients is finding an exercise routine that they actually enjoy and feel confident about sticking with, whether it’s walking, playing team sports, yoga, taking a dance class, or something else. 

This nonsurgical cosmetic procedure is designed to reduce fat cells in a target area. The treatment injects drugs into the body that kill fat cells and ultimately remove target fat deposits. 

Right now, injection lipolysis is only FDA-approved to treat fat in the neck and chin area. However, it could theoretically be used on other areas of the body with additional research.

Patients struggling with their diets might also consider weight management injections. These injections are taken at home and are designed to reduce appetite. This treatment may not be an option for patients with diabetes, as it interacts with insulin supplements. 

The FDA has approved several pills designed to treat obesity. Like weight management injections, many of these anti-obesity medications are designed to reduce appetite. Some of these medications work the opposite way by helping patients feel more full. 

These medications are designed to be taken long-term and paired with a healthy diet and exercise. While they aren’t an option for everyone, they can be particularly helpful for patients who have tried diet and exercise alone and aren’t seeing results.

In rare cases where other treatments do not work, some patients might also consider bariatric weight loss surgery. There are several different types of weight loss surgery, but they all make changes to the abdominal anatomy to reduce the amount of food a person can eat at one time. 

Because weight loss surgery is very invasive, it is usually reserved for patients suffering from extreme obesity or severe obesity-related health complications.

Match With Obesity Clinical Trials

Have you been diagnosed with obesity, or do you have a BMI over 30? Do you have health conditions that are related to your obesity? 

If so, you may qualify for clinical studies to help researchers learn more about obesity and how it affects our long-term health. Scientists are studying many aspects of the condition and the health concerns it can trigger, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more. 

The purpose of these studies may include researching:

  • The relationship between genetics, environmental factors, and obesity
  • How metabolism affects obesity
  • Risk factors for obesity and related conditions
  • New treatments for obesity

Participating in these studies benefits both you and future obesity patients. If you’re interested in participating in an obesity or weight loss trial, reach out to us today to learn more about opportunities at Tandem Clinical Research.

How to Support Others Struggling With Obesity

If you have a loved one struggling with obesity, you may be wondering how best to support them. Not only is obesity physically and mentally challenging, but many obesity patients experience social stigma on a daily basis. 

There are a variety of things you can do to help a friend or family member struggling with obesity. These include:

Be an Empathetic Listener

It’s important for people living with obesity to have a strong support system. Living with obesity can be very stressful at times, so be sure to lend a listening ear when your loved one needs to chat. 

Let them guide the conversation and avoid judgment. Try to put yourself in their shoes and practice empathy. 

Help Them Find Medical Support

Finding the right medical care can be difficult when living with obesity. If your friend or family member has expressed difficulty finding a doctor, insurance, or medication, take time to help them with research. 

You can also help by driving them to appointments and providing care during intensive procedures if that is something they would appreciate. 

Educate Yourself

If you’ve never experienced obesity before, you may not have a concrete understanding of what people go through when struggling with this condition. To be a better support system for your friends and family members, do some research to educate yourself on the causes and symptoms of obesity. 

Encourage Healthy Activities

When you spend time with your loved one, suggest healthy and fun activities, such as cooking a nutritious dinner together or going for a bike ride. Don’t comment about their appearance or health, and don’t pressure them if they’re not ready to do something. Instead, suggest a different activity. 

Respect Their Progress

Treating and recovering from obesity is a long process; your loved one must take things at their own pace. Respect them by celebrating their accomplishments, no matter how small they are, and boosting their self-esteem with compliments that aren’t about their appearance or health. Don’t lecture or pressure them about their weight; give them space to make their own decisions.

Match With Obesity Clinical Trials

Tandem Clinical Research specializes in connecting patients with obesity and other health conditions with clinical trials. If you live in or near New York City, New Orleans, or Orlando, we’re here to match you with trials.

Fighting obesity may be a long-term battle, but this cutting-edge research is developing new treatments and solutions for patients. Consider joining a clinical trial today to contribute to this important research.