Obesity is an incredibly common health condition that occurs when a person has accumulated so much body fat that it can negatively affect their health. According to studies, nearly 30% of people worldwide are overweight or obese – it’s become an epidemic.
Many medical problems such as diabetes, stroke and heart attacks are associated with being overweight or obese.
Here’s how medical experts determine if a person is overweight or obese:
Some of the most common reasons people become overweight and obese are consuming too many calories and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Other reasons include not sleeping enough and certain medications. Obesity treatment doesn’t solely involve losing weight.
One aspect of treatment is to change eating habits and increase physical activity. While crash diets are attractive insofar as they make the scale look better, they’re not the solution. Medically, you want to keep your weight down over many years to hopefully decrease the risks that are associated with obesity.
Another medical concern about crash or fad diets is that rapid weight loss leads to significant muscle loss. Muscle mass affects the metabolic rate, so following a crash diet that leads to muscle loss will lower the metabolism and make it more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Inevitably, once the crash diet is finished and one returns to old eating habits this slowed metabolism leads to gaining weight and possibly gaining more weight than was initially lost.
For some people, diet and exercise aren’t enough for weight loss and other treatment aspects of obesity may include medication and/or surgery. Commonly prescribed weight-loss medications include orlistat, phentermine, bupropion and naltrexone. Regular monitoring by a healthcare professional will be required with weight loss medications. If lifestyle changes and/or weight loss medications don’t work, bariatric surgery may be another treatment option.
It is essential to work closely with a healthcare provider to manage risks, other conditions and complications and to measure the progress of obesity treatment.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you’d like more information on obesity.
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Print this Action Plan and check off items that you want to discuss with your healthcare provider