Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in western industrialised countries. It is estimated that over a third of people in the UK are overweight and the proportion of overweight people in the UK continues to rise.
We classify the extent of obesity using BMI and use waist circumference to further clarify the risk of obesity related co-morbidities or the metabolic syndrome.
A healthy weight range is based on a measurement known as the body mass index (BMI). This can be determined if you know your weight and your height.
BMI= Body mass in Kilogrames divided by the height in metres squared.
Interpretation of the results of the BMI:
<18.5 = underweight
18.5-24.9 = healthy weight
> 30 very overweight or obesity
Obesity is a very common condition. It is estimated that around 1 in 4 men and 1 in 4 women in the UK have a Body Mass Index greater than 30 and so are obese.
The evidence states that after stopping smoking maintaining a healthy weight is the most appropriate or important thing you can do for cancer prevention.
Some of the other benefits of weight reduction include the following:
- Reducing risk of diabetes.
- Reducing blood pressure.
- Lower mortality from cancer and from diabetes.
- Lower osteoarthritis and related disability.
- Improve lung function in patients with asthma.
- Improve Lipid profile – cholesterol in your blood and blood sugar control.
Weight management programmes include:
- Dietary intervention
- Physical activities- regular exercises
- Behavioural change
- Drug treatment. Orlistat is the only drug currently licensed for treating obesity. It can interfere with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., A, D, E, K), thus a daily multivitamin supplement containing these nutrients is recommended.
- Bariatric Surgery (operation to reduce the size of your stomach and makes you feel full after small portion of food) considered in patients with BMI > 35
You can be prescribed a medicine called Xenical (Orlistat). Xenical is a prescription-only oral tablet that blocks the action of the fat-digesting lipase enzymes in the intestine. This stops around 30 percent of the fat you have eaten from being absorbed. It simply passes through your digestive system and you lose weight as a result. Your doctor will usually only consider medicine for weight-loss if changes to your diet and exercise are not effective. If you prescribed Xenical you will still need to follow a calorie-controlled diet and start an exercise plan while taking the medicine.
Your body needs a certain amount of energy (calories) each day. Excess energy is stored as fat. By eating less than your body needs, exercising more and absorbing less fat by using Xenical, you force your body to use its existing fat stores for energy. By burning excess fat, you lose weight.
Xenical is currently the only weight-loss medication approved in the UK for online consultation. Another drug, Reductil (Sibutramine) is also available but you must see your GP for a face-to-face consultation. Reductil works by inhibiting certain chemicals in the brain which in turn reduces appetite and enhances feelings of fullness. However, Reductil can increase your blood pressure.
Please click the link for more information about Xenical (Orlistat).
Int J Obesity 2008 which was reviewed in EBM 2008 looked at whether small cues can promote healthier eating and exercising habits and maintain weight loss. It showed that a simple hand out “10 top tips for weight loss” and monthly weighing resulted in modest weight loss. Please click here for copy of “10 Top Tips for Weight Loss”.
If you would like to discuss weight loss please contact us.