As medical experts better understand the condition, they realised that obesity coexists with many other health issues. For example, high cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and blocked blood vessels. In addition, fat tissues release many hormones that cause chronic inflammation and thus increasing the risk of different chronic disorders.
Although one may start a weight loss program without consulting a doctor, experience shows that such efforts fail frequently. Not only that, poorly planned weight loss efforts may do more damage to health than good. There are many instances where people resorted to quick fix supplements or fat burners and got into serious trouble and developed certain health issues on starting their weight loss journey. There is no such thing as quick fixes!
What doctors can do is carry out an extensive health assessment and then create a personalized weight loss program. Moreover, besides dietary and lifestyle measures, doctors can also recommend medications. These medications can help burn fats, reduce calorie intake, alter the appetite, and help lose body weight more efficiently.
Obesity contributes to almost every chronic ailment
Unlike a century back, now the primary cause of ill health and untimely death are various non-infectious chronic ailments. Studies show that obesity is one of the most important contributors to the rise of various non-infectious diseases.
Here it is also worth understanding that obesity is even worse for Asians when compared to Europeans. Asians have poorly developed subcutaneous fat tissues and tend to accumulate fat mostly on the tummy (central obesity). They are also more likely to accumulate fat around visceral organs. It means that Asians are more likely to develop lipotoxicity.
All this means that even mild obesity is dangerous for health. It causes an increase in cholesterol, triglycerides, loss of vascular elasticity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and diabetes. It is among the leading causes of ischemic heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It may also cause peripheral vascular disease.
Obesity also causes considerable disability, as it increases the risk of osteoarthritis. In addition, it considerably reduces the quality of life as obese people find it challenging to move around, travel, and enjoy life. Obesity may also cause a decline in libido and affect one’s ability to conceive.
One way of understanding obesity is by calculating the BMI. BMI = Weight in kg ÷ (height x height [in meters]). Thus, a person with a BMI of 25 or above is overweight, and above 30 is obese. However, in recent years, doctors have revised guidelines for Asians, which means that Asians are considered overweight if their BMI is 23 or above and obese if their BMI is 27.5.
One can readily calculate BMI using various online calculators. In addition, most wearable devices and their apps also show BMI these days. However, it is worth understanding that BMI is not a perfect indicator of obesity.
Why should one consult us?
As already mentioned, Asians are more likely to develop central obesity, that is, fat accumulation on the tummy and visceral organs. Thus, only doctors can really say how severe is obesity. Therefore, doctors will take other measures, calculate the hip waist ratio, and would also carry out blood tests to understand the health status.
For example, someone may be only moderately overweight but have a large tummy, high cholesterol, blood pressure, high blood sugar, and other health issues. It means that quite often, even mild obesity or overweight individuals may benefit from a weight loss program and treatment of their underlying comorbidities.
Additionally, doctors may try to identify some uncommon causes of obesity, like a poor functioning thyroid gland. Moreover, experienced doctors are also better at analyzing the dietary habits of individuals.
Weight loss program
Weight loss efforts must be prolonged, and any treatment of obesity must be multidimensional. Therefore, doctors would rarely recommend strict dieting, except in the cases of severe obesity. Instead, they would generally come up with recommendations that are workable over the long run.
Weight loss is always about the dietary measure. It does not mean dieting; it rather means choosing foods wisely. Additionally, exercise is a must, as it not only aids weight loss but also has many other health benefits.