OBESITY is a condition in which a person has a lot of excess body fat. A formula called Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to calculate its severity based upon weight in kilogram divided by height in meter squared. A BMI between 25–29.9 kg/m² is considered overweight, whereas a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese, and a BMI greater than or equal to 40 is considered super obese.
Risk factors for developing obesity include one’s mother’s habits during pregnancy; formula-fed infants; habits and weight gain during childhood; sleeping too little; certain medications and hormonal conditions.
Health complications associated with obesity include the development of diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart attacks, sleep apnea, stroke, asthma, cancer, and shortened lifespan.
Therapy modalities to assist with weight loss include diet and exercise. There are no single diet programs that are better than others. Instead, the focus should be on regular meal times and smaller meal portions, not skipping meals, stopping smoking and limiting alcohol. Regular Physical activity is needed for long-term maintenance of a lower body weight.
Drug therapy is warranted to reduce weight for a BMI greater than 30 or when a BMI 27–29.9 occurs with comorbidities such as diabetes, sleep apnea or joint disease. Bariatric surgery for drastic weight loss is warranted when a BMI is equal to or greater than 40 kg/m² after one has failed previous nonsurgical weight loss attempts and has an acceptable risk for surgery.
Please contact our office should you have any further questions on this matter.