PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – In the past decade, about four out of 10 men have been considered overweight. That number increases with nearly a third of women weighing in heavier than before.

The proportion of people at a normal weight has declined.

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Dr. Peter G. Traber, MD is an expert on liver disease and the CEO, CMO, and President of Galectin Therapeutics, Incorporated. He’s also the CMO of GlaxoSmithKline and of Baylor College of Medicine. He has over 25 years of experience in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries through research and development.

On their website, Galectin Therapeutics describes their company’s goal in, “pursuing a clear development pathway to clinical enhancement and commercialization for lead compounds in liver fibrosis and cancer immunotherapy.”

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“The World Health Organization has called it a world-wide epidemic, not just the United States,” said Dr. Traber about obesity. “Thirty-six percent of the U.S. adults are obese and 18 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 19, and it’s expected to go over 50 percent. Many countries around the world are catching up, unfortunately.”

Obesity can increase the likelihood of diseases like heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, cancer and osteoarthritis. Typically people will excessively eat, gaining food energy, but they lack physical activity to burn that energy off.

“If you change your lifestyle, lose weight, control your diabetes better, there is evidence you can improve the underlying disease,” said Dr. Traber regarding liver disease caused by obesity. “However, once you get to the scaring stage there’s no evidence you can reverse that.”

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Currently, his company is using clinical trials to test a drug that would be used for liver disease patients.