What is Obesity ?

Obesity is a leading cause of preventable death world wide. Its a deadly chronic disease often mistaken by general public as mildly embarassing physical condition that needs no treatment.

In reality, if left untreated, obesity can reduce life span by 8-10 years as documented by reputed studies and can cause very poor quality of life for individuals suffering from it.

Obesity increases the likelihood of  various diseases and conditions, particularly   cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, infertility, osteoarthritis and depression.

BMI

Obesity is not about the weight of the person alone. People are considered as Obese when their Body Mass Index is more than 30kg/ sqaure meter; Overweight when BMI is from 25 to 29 kg/ square meter. Healthy weight when BMI is from 20 to 25 and Underweight if BMI is less than 20.

BMI is calculated by dividing the weight in kgs by height in square meters.

Causes of Obesity

Although overeating and sedentary lifestyles are two major reasons of obesity, there are many other reasons behind excess weight: Genetics, excess digestion (mal-absorption), endocrine disorders, use of diabetes medications and insulin are some of the reasons why many people don’t lose weight in-spite of diet and excercise.

Infact percentage of people who successfully maintain weightloss achieved by diet and excercise are less than 5% of all people who are trying to lose excess weight.

All the lost weight and more comes back with vengance after sometime. If you belong to this category of people, please read on.

Co-Morbidities

Co-morbidity is a disease that is the result of or strongly related to a primary disease. As it applies to obesity, the primary disease is morbid obesity and the comorbidities are many life-crippling chronic diseases.

Most important of all is Type 2 Diabetes. It is well establisehd through research that almost 90% of obese individuals suffer from Type 2 Diabetes which can be completely reversed in most cases by triggering long-term excess weight-loss.

But when patients are obese and diabetic, they are on tablets or/ and insulin- both of which are weight inducing substances.

Hence a type 2 diabetes patient is trapped in a vicious cycle where on one hand he or she takes daily medication to control Diabetes. Medications keep pushing body weight up. Body weight keeps pushing sugar levels up. Progressively inceasing sugar readings keep pushing dosage levels up.

This is how most obese- diabetic patients simply fail to control weight for no fault of theirs even with strict diet and exercise.

There are about 60 different types of co-morbidities of Obesity have been identified.

A partial list of obesity co-morbidities is given below to highlight how dreaded obesity is.

Options to Manage Obesity

A DOSS Patient Before and After Bariatric Surgery

Options vary depending on BMI and co-morbidities.

When patient is just overweight with with no co-morbdities, then diet and exercise under professional supervision is the recommended line of treatment.

According to the ASMBS (American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, an obesity patient qualifies for a Bariatric procedure if he or she has:

BMI of 32.5 or more and at least one or more obesity-related co-morbidities such as type II diabetes (T2DM), hypertension, sleep apnea and other respiratory disorders, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart disease.

BMI of 40 or more with no co-morbidities.

If a person has more than 100 pounds (approx 45 kilos) overweight

Inability to achieve a healthy weight loss sustained for a period of time with prior weight loss efforts.

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