What Is Obesity?
Severe obesity is a growing problem in today’s society, with NHS statistics showing that around 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children between the ages of 10 to 11 suffer from obesity. The term obese refers to an individual who is very overweight, carrying a lot of excess fat which in turn causes long term damage to the body and significant health risks.
What Causes Obesity?
The most common cause of obesity is consuming more calories, particularly from fatty and sugary foods, than you burn from daily activity. When these calories remain unused, they are then stored as fat within the body to be used at a later date. However, if this continues over an extended period of time, this leads to weight gain, health issues and eventually, obesity.
Sometimes there are some underlying health related reasons for someone to be considered obese through a medical condition; such as an underactive thyroid gland, or due to certain medications making weight gain more likely. However, these are generally manageable and your doctor can give you advice on this.
How Is Obesity Measured?
The most widely used method to check whether someone is a healthy weight is to use the Body Mass Index (BMI), which checks whether someone is a healthy weight for their height.
The Measures and What They Mean:
- 18.5 to 24.9 – means a healthy weight
- 25 to 29.9 – means overweight
- 30 to 39.9 – means obese
- 40 or above – means severely obese
It is important to note that this metric is not used to diagnose obesity, because muscle mass weighs more than fat would on an individual. However, this is a useful indicator of whether some is obese or is at risk of obesity.
A better measure for obesity is to take a waist size measurement, as this can be used with a BMI reading.
Average Waist Measurements
- Men – 94cm or more
- Women – 80cm or more
If someone has the above measurements, then they are more likely to develop obesity related issues.
Risks Associated with Obesity
There are a number of serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that can be the result of someone being obese for a prolonged period of time, which is why tackling obesity is important. Some linked conditions include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Many cancers; such as breast and bowel cancer
As well as obesity leading to serious health conditions, it can lead to psychological problems. If someone does not feel comfortable in their own skin then this can lead to lower self-esteem and depression, affecting.
Being a healthy weight is both physically and mentally important to any individual.
Fixes For Obesity?
There are no quick fixes for obesity.
By eating a healthy reduced-calorie diet and regularly exercising is best. To do this you could:
- Make sure to eat a balanced diet where you can control the number of calories
- Take up physical activities such as walking, jogging, swimming or a new sport where you exercise for between 2.5 to 5 hours a week
- Eat slowly to avoid any temptation of overeating
- Join a local weight loss group for support
Some people struggle with diets and find that this method of weight loss doesn’t work for them – for those people, there are other options.
Weight Loss Surgery
Weight Loss Surgery is one of the safest treatments for individuals who struggle to lose weight through diets and need help to control their calorie intake. The surgery is designed not just to restrict how much an individual can eat, but also to change the way the body responds to food. Patients feel less hunger, more easy satisfaction with food and their metabolism ‘speeds up’ to burn calories more easily.
There are several weight loss surgeries and procedures available, including:
- Gastric Balloon Procedure
- Gastric Band Surgery
- Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Gastric Sleeve Surgery
To be eligible for weight loss surgery, a patient needs to have a BMI over 40 if they have no obesity related illnesses or over 35 if they do have obesity related illnesses. Occasionally patients with less weight will be considered for surgery.
Here at Streamline Surgical, we follow the latest National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on bariatric surgery-ensuring that those who pursue the weight loss surgery route are physically and mentally able to do so.
Whether an individual uses a diet plan or has weight loss surgery, it is important that they take the time to follow the guidelines and remain committed to losing the weight they desire, through setting realistic goals and working with their healthcare professionals. These professionals are there to provide encouragement and advice about how to lose the weight and maintain any weight loss achieved.
Here at Streamline Surgical, we pride ourselves on our second-to-none aftercare, with our principle aim being to treat all patients with care, concern and compassion. We understand the procedure is only the start of your journey. The aftercare you receive is key and can make all the difference to your end result.