A Word from the Guest Editor

 Obesity remains one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century, which affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the most significant risk factors for the development of numerous comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. The treatment of obesity requires a comprehensive approach that includes dietary, pharmacological and behavioral interventions. This special issue of Archives of Pharmacy entitled “Obesity Treatment – Challenges and Perspectives” provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of the latest research and achievements in this field, which is of importance to both the scientific and professional public.

Twelve carefully selected papers, dealing with various aspects of obesity treatment through an interdisciplinary approach, are included in this edition. The topics of the papers include dietary interventions, pharmacotherapy, clinical treatment of obesity, pharmaceutical health care of obesity, biochemical diagnostics, molecular mechanisms, but also the safety aspects of various dietary interventions, as well as the influence of environmental factors on the development of obesity. The effectiveness of various dietary interventions in the treatment of obesity has been in focus in recent decades, so a detailed analysis of their effectiveness in reducing body weight and preserving health is also provided. An examination of the potential of various phytochemicals in the treatment of obesity is also provided, with an emphasis on their mechanisms of action and therapeutic potential. Food supplements and their safety are also in the focus of the scientific and professional public. For this reason, the role of herbal dietary supplements as part of interventions in reducing body mass was analyzed, and their benefits were weighed against potential risks, which is crucial for patient safety and effective treatment.

Pharmacotherapy of obesity is another important area covered in this issue. An overview of the current guidelines for the pharmacotherapy of obesity is given, as well as the perspectives in the development of new drugs. This is complemented by a pharmacoeconomic analysis of the use of obesity drugs in selected European countries, which is of particular importance for planning an efficient and cost-effective public health strategy. Moreover, challenges in the clinical treatment of obesity are discussed in detail, which is important for understanding how evidence-based obesity pharmacotherapy is integrated into routine clinical practice. The central role of health professionals, especially pharmacists, in the treatment of obesity is addressed through strategies for effective patient counseling and through interventions at the primary health care level. A comprehensive understanding of obesity also requires an understanding of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying obesity, as well as the diagnostic markers that are critical for its detection and treatment.

In this edition, special emphasis is placed on epigenetic markers of obesity through the role of microRNAs in the development of obesity, emphasizing their regulatory function, but also as a potential target for dietary interventions, as in the example of intervention with probiotics. Additionally, the multidisciplinary approach to this special issue topic is reflected in the analysis of long-term health outcomes when applying certain dietary interventions and using the example of a high-protein diet, whose safety is discussed through interactions with the gastrointestinal microbiota and consequent effects on metabolic health.

Furthermore, this special issue emphasizes the often overlooked and underestimated role of environmental factors in the etiology of obesity, examining causal relationships between environmental pollutants and obesity. Research in this area, as well as raising public awareness of this topic, is crucial for the development of holistic and preventive public health strategies for the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Finally, I would like to thank the editor, Prof. Radica Stepanović-Petrović, for the opportunity to put obesity in the focus of this edition, but also to all the authors who, with their high-quality works and critical review of the evidence from the literature, contributed to this edition of Archives of Pharmacy providing a comprehensive approach to understanding the complexity of the obesity problem. In the end, only through joint efforts and interdisciplinary cooperation, as well as an individual approach to each patient, can we advance research in the field of obesity management.


 Guest Editor

Nevena Ivanović, PhD, Associate Professor

University of Belgrade – Faculty of Pharmacy

Department of Bromatology



Published: 2024/06/28

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