Obesity is one of the most common conditions experienced by people across the globe. This health condition can be as a catalyst for more dangerous conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.
There are many different reasons for this condition, but it is not something to be taken lightly.
Table of Contents
- Diagnosing obesity
- Right obesity management
- Dietary changes
- Lifestyle and behavioural changes
- Medical weight loss
- Weight loss surgery
People with Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 and more are considered obese – it is often called morbid obesity as well. This calculation basically takes the height and weight of the person into account to calculate a ratio that gives us an indication of how healthy or not the person is.
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Some of the causes of obesity are:
- Poor diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of sleep
- Old age
There are also certain conditions that can lead to obesity like Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), Osteoarthritis.
Diagnosis is vital
It is never easy for a person who is classified as obese to suddenly dedicate time and energy to make himself/herself fitter and healthier. Many people are so engrossed in their usual lifestyles that they do not care about the complications that could arise due to being obese.
In such cases, it is imperative that family, friends and the physician come together and ensure the patient sees the dangers of this condition and work on improving their shape.
Let us start by looking at the ways to diagnose someone with obesity. As already mentioned above, BMI is the gold standard for measuring obesity in a human being, a tried and tested formula that has more or less been successful. But there are also other measures by which we can tell if one is obese or not.
Some measures of obesity, often spoken in terms body fat and its distribution, are waist-to-hip comparisons, skinfold thickness and screening tests like ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and computed tomography (CT).
Blood tests are also a good way to check for obesity, what with its propensity to give a detailed report on various parameters like cholesterol and glucose levels, apart from liver function tests, heart tests, thyroid tests and diabetes screens.
Catching this condition early is vital, for the later a person carries it, the higher the chance of diseases like heart attack and diabetes.
Right management required
Often, it is as much mind as a medicine when it comes to obesity treatment. There are a lot of instances of obese people doing the right kind of things in order to treat themselves and ensure a healthy future. The ultimate goal for the patient is to reach that healthy weight scale and stay there for as much time as he/she can.
Treatment can be to lose as less as 3 to 5 percent of a person’s body weight. But that does not mean one should stop there and be content, for losing as much as possible always carries greater benefits. A weight-loss program is a good place to start and involves making changes in eating habits and ensuring a rise in physical activities.
From here, the level of treatment methods adopted depend on the level of obesity, overall health, and willingness of the patient to undergo the various weight-loss plans. One thing for certain is that following obesity treatment guidelines is a good way of getting rid of this condition and ensuring that the future is less likely to be affected.
4 Effective treatment plans for Obesity
1. Dietary changes
Ensuring that one lessens the intake of calories and follows healthy eating habits can be a big help in ensuring that obesity treatment goes to plan.
While losing weight quickly over the first few weeks may seem exciting, it is best to cut off excess weight slowly and steadily over a period of time, as it is also the healthiest and safest way of overcoming obesity. This also ensures that you can stay away from obesity in the long term. Some of the dietary changes are:
Bringing down calorie intake
This is key to ensuring that weight loss happens as per plan. Calculating the optimum number of calories to be taken on a daily basis can help in a big way.
Eat more foods with lesser calories
Some foods, especially sweets, have a large number of calories for even a small amount that is eaten, while fruits have the opposite effect. Hence, regulating the intake of both can be a good way to reduce weight while also consuming healthy foods.
2. Lifestyle and behavioural changes
The need to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and a good eating plan, can be best explained to the patient by his/her medical team.
Increase in daily activity — maybe 300 minutes a week — and a structured exercise regimen are ways that can help the patient build endurance, strength, and metabolism. There can also ways to identify unhealthy triggers which may help the patient cope better with anxiety, nervousness, depression and/or emotional eating issues.
3. Medical weight loss
Sometimes, medication is also prescribed to help the patent in his/her quest for weight loss, sometimes in addition to the exercises and healthy eating plans already laid out. Providing medication is not something that happens regularly, but if it is the case, then the patient will do well to follow the dosage requirements.
You need to monitor yourself closely while taking the prescribed weight-loss medication as it may not work for everyone and have different side effects in the long run. Consult your family doctor before seeking out medication.
4. Weight loss surgery
Also known as bariatric surgery, is major surgery with risks involved, and a commitment from the patient that he/she would change their lifestyles. It also involves counselling so as to prepare the patient emotionally for the surgery.
Q. Is there any difference between being overweight and obesity?
A. Being overweight or obesity is often determined verifying a person’s body mass index (BMI). If BMI falls between 25 and 29.9, the person is overweight. If it is 30 or higher, he/she is obese.
Q. What is the main cause of obesity?
A. An amalgamation of factors like genetics and cultural and environmental factors can be the reason, while the most common cause is due to eating too much and/or lack of exercise.
Q. What are the health risks of obesity?
A. An obese person is at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer, chronic back pain, and high blood pressure. It could also affect self-esteem and lead to depression.
Q. How and why is obesity a growing problem?
A. Lifestyle changes has seen obesity spread to many countries. Due to jobs becoming less about moving around and more about sitting on a desk for long hours, people have less and less for physical activity and exercise.
People also drive more and walk less, apart from spending far too many hours in front of screens – be it TV, video games, browsing, or mobile devices. Our food habits have changed, including eating bigger and bigger portions of less healthy foods.
Q. What is the best way to lose weight?
A. Slow and steady is the best way, including aiming to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week by gradually increasing physical activity and making healthy diet changes.
A good weight-loss program is also a big help, and choosing moderate weight loss goals and adapting ones diet and fitness routine to make them sustainable are some ways to lose weight.
Q. Who are Bariatric Surgeons?
A. A surgeon who specialises in weight loss/bariatric surgery (mostly done as a laparoscopic/keyhole surgery) is called a Bariatric Surgeon.
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