Obesity is a Disease. World Obesity Day is Saturday, March 4th and encourages people to recognize the root causes of obesity, increase knowledge of the disease, and tackle weight stigma.
Obesity is defined as a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher and is the result of a complex interplay between many factors including appetite signals, environment, behavior, and genetics.
Obesity is associated with many comorbidities including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, depression, and many more.
Losing weight is not easy. People with obesity generally make 7 serious attempts to lose weight over time. That’s because most people get caught up in a cycle that begins when they decide to take action, but often ends when they become discouraged as it gets harder to lose the weight. This cycle can be broken. The key is to work with a health care provider with experience in weight management to develop a plan that works for you.
Weight loss of 2% to >15% may lead to clinical improvements in many obesity-related complications.
There’s more than one way to reach your goals
It’s normal to try many approaches on the path to long-term weight management. What works for someone else might not work for you. Exploring weight-management options with an experienced health care provider can be a great first step.
These are just some of many treatment options to discuss. Check the ones you are interested in talking about with your health care provider:
- Healthy eating and portion control
- Healthy meal planning and smaller portions create an energy deficit (think fewer calories in) while providing the right nutrients for you.
- Environmental changes
- You can make small changes to your surroundings, such as clearing out high-calorie snacks in your kitchen, or keeping your activity gear near the front door, that may help you stay on track with your weight-management goals.
- Behavioral approaches
- Working with an expert in behavior modification, such as a counselor or a nutritionist, may help you find ways to build new habits that fit into your lifestyle. Small changes, like reducing sugary drinks or making time to be active a few times a week, can really help.
- Physical activity
- Physical activity helps you burn calories. The more active your lifestyle, the more calories you’ll burn.
- The FDA has approved several prescription medicines for weight loss and weight management. You can discuss the possible benefits and risks with a health care provider.
- Surgical procedures
- Bariatric surgery is usually an option for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher along with weight-related conditions. There are different types of bariatric surgical procedures that cause weight loss by reducing how much food the stomach can hold. You can discuss the possible benefits and risks with a health care provider.
- Managing other health conditions
- Talk to a health care provider about how to stay on top of other conditions you may have. Some health conditions may have an impact on your weight.
It is never too early to focus on weight. Access to safe and effective medical treatment is important. Start today by reaching out to get more information and talk with your health care provider. There are several ways to get help.
Content funded by and developed in collaboration with Novo Nordisk.