Globally we have seen an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugar, coupled with a decrease in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanisation. As a result, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. The fundamental cause of obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Recognised as a serious chronic disease, obesity is impacted by several factors:
- The genes you inherit from your parents
- How well your body turns food into energy
- Eating and exercising habits
- Psychological factors
According to the Heart Foundation, six million or one-third of adult Australians are overweight, with more than 3.5 million or 42% of all males aged 18 and over affected
Once your body reaches a certain weight, the hypothalamus gland in your brain, records this as a benchmark. Once you stop dieting and/or exercising, your brain will always try to increase your weight back to the heaviest weight reached. This is a battle that millions of people are fighting on a daily basis.
What qualifies you as obese?
Our body mass index, or BMI, is a our weight divided by the square of our height. BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight and obesity as it is the same for both sexes and for all ages of adults. However, on its own, it may not be 100% dependable as people of different body shapes, muscle mass, bone density and other factors may appear more or less overweight than indicated by their BMI.
Once your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you are considered overweight, whilst a BMI of 30 and above is considered obese.
Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery? See our checklist:
- Is your BMI over 35 (use our BMI calculator)?
- Are you aged between 18 and 65 years?
- Do you suffer from obesity-related illnesses?
- Have you tried to lose weight without success?
If you are diagnosed with obesity, you will likely have an increased propensity to suffer from other conditions – physically, psychologically and socially, including:
- Shorter life expectancy – 50% to 100% increased risk of dying prematurely
- Diabetes (type 2)
- Sleep apnoea
- Arthritis – joint problems
- High blood pressure – hypertension
- Heart disease
- Gallbladder problems
- Certain cancers (breast, uterine, colon, cervix, oesophagus, pancreas, kidney, prostate)
- Digestive disorders (gastroesophageal reflux disease, GORD)
- Breathing difficulties – asthma
- Fertility and pregnancy issues
- Skin and varicose veins
- Poor self esteem
- Social isolation
- Mobility and day to day tasks more difficult
- No longer fit in seats on public transport, venues, etc
- Shortness of breath
- Potential reduction in employment prospects
For more information about Obesity treatment options, visit our procedures page or contact our clinic to speak with one of our helpful staff.