Obesity

Obesity is not a simple condition of eating too much. It is now recognised as a serious chronic disease.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity could be a combination of the following:

  • The genes you inherit from your parents
  • How well your body turns food into energy
  • Your eating and exercising habits
  • Your surroundings
  • Psychological factors

Consequences of Obesity

If you are obese, severely obese, or morbidly obese, you may have:

Major health risks

  • Shorter life expectancy
  • Compared to people of normal weight, obese people have a 50% to 100% increased risk of dying prematurely
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Joint problems (e.g., arthritis)
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Certain types of cancers (breast, uterine, colon)
  • Digestive disorders (gastroesophageal reflux disease, GORD)
  • Breathing difficulties (sleep apnoea, asthma)
  • Psychological problems such as depression
  • Problems with fertility and pregnancy
  • Incontinence
Risks to psychological and social well-being
  • Negative self-image
  • Psychological problems such as depression
  • Social isolation
  • Discrimination
Difficulties with day-to-day living
  • Normal tasks become harder as movement is more difficult.
  • You tend to tire more quickly and find yourself short of breath.
  • Public transport seats, telephone booths and cars may be too small for you.
  • You may find it difficult to maintain personal hygiene.

Treatment

Non-surgical intervention:

Many people who are unhealthily overweight have tried in vain to lose excess  weight. The market is overflowing with all kinds of slimming diets, cures and  products that advertise success, but many studies show that diets and slimming  aids rarely succeed in helping people achieve the desired result of long-lasting  weight reduction. In fact, many people who have tried dieting gain back more  than they lost when they go off the diet.

Surgery:

If you have tried diets, cures, tablets or medicines, and they haven't helped you lose and maintain a healthy weight, obesity surgery may be an option to artificially reduce the amount of food your stomach can hold and decrease your appetite.

Click here  on Dr Ian Martin’s lecture on the evidence for obesity surgery.

Obesity Surgery: Why, Who and When? - By Dr Ian Martin

 

An Evidence basis for the Surgical Management of Obesity - Ian Martin