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Obesity and its management

The rate of obesity is increasing in leaps and bound, usually due to too much calorie being taken in as opposed to that being used. With the increasing obesity, comes increasing problems of obesity related diseases such as the following:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol disorders
  • Gout
  • Fatty liver
  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Joint problems
  • Menstrual irregularities

The above are but a few examples of the consequences of obesity. Hence it should be treated seriously and all efforts focussed on managing it.

To note whether you are normal weight, overweight or obese, you first calculate your body mass index (BMI). This is done by dividing your weight by the square of height:

Weight (kg)

Height x Height (m)

BMI: Normal : 18.5 to 22.9 (24.9 if you are Caucasian)
Overweight: 23 to 27.4 (29.9 if you are Caucasian)
Obese: ≥ 27.5

Management of obesity should include the following:

  1. Investigate for the cause of the obesity – in some cases, it might be a hormonal imbalance such as too little thyroid or too much of steroid hormones, that has caused the weight gain
  2. Investigate for the various consequences of obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol disorders, fatty livers, etc
  3. Discussion of the options of management:
    • lifestyle
    • meal replacement
    • medications
    • bariatric surgery

The various management options are not exclusive and one or more may be employed in order to combate obesity.