Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly, Chairperson of Clinical Biochemistry and Medicine at the University of Cambridge in Doha, discusses the latest research into genetic factors in human obesity and insulin resistance.
DOHA: By 2030, there could be around 500 million people with type 2 diabetes across the world, mostly in places not well-equipped to deal with the chronic medical condition, according to an expert.
Increasing prevalence of obesity is driven by the reduction of physical activity in general life and working life, and this is combined with cheap, readily available and high-calorie food, said Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly, Chairperson of Clinical Biochemistry and Medicine at the University of Cambridge in Doha.
He was speaking during a public lecture organised by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) as part of the Academic Health System (AHS) Lecture Series.
The genetics of human obesity and insulin resistance was the focus of the lecture.
About 140 physicians, clinical scientists and health professionals from a wide range of specialities from across the eight AHS member organisations attended the lecture.
“Obesity and diabetes are major public health problems nationally and internationally, and have been increasing in frequency for the past 50-100 years,” said Professor O’Rahilly.
“We need better ways of preventing and treating obesity and diabetes; obviously one way is through public health measures such as improving diet and physical activity, but the other way will be through better drugs.
“The work of my group involves studying patients with particular types of disorder that tell us about how body weight is controlled and how insulin works in the body.
“By understanding these patients, we can get a better idea of what the normal control points in the body are, and working with the pharmaceutical industry, we can help them make better drugs so we can improve the treatment of people with diabetes and/or obesity, and perhaps help prevent obesity and diabetes,” he added.