Obesity can cause infertility, cancer and more: Treatments, weight loss tips for people with different BMI


Treatment and weight loss tips for obese people

Treatment and weight loss tips for obese people&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspThinkstock

New Delhi: Obesity is a very complex and multifactorial disease in which a person has excess body fat. Although overeating and poor lifestyle usually are the main causes of weight gain, one’s genes and body metabolism also play a very important role. Obese people may find it very difficult to lose weight and even more difficult to sustain weight loss.

Obesity is considered the root cause of many serious health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac problems, arthritis, sleep disorders, infertility and increased chances of cancer. Health experts say every 10 kilos of extra weight reduces an individual’s life by three years. This means, if someone is overweight by 50 kgs, he or she might end up losing 15 years of life.

Stages of obesity

There are several stages of obesity which are determined by your Body Mass Index (BMI) level.  

The good news is that one can lose 20-30 kgs of excess body weight by supervised diet plans and lifestyle modifications. However, if one needs to lose more than that, then weight loss surgery can be considered. Consultation with an obesity expert is a must for proper assessment and management of the condition.

Health risks of obesity and benefits of weight loss

Obesity has been linked to a number of serious health problems, including heart ailments, diabetes, arthritis, respiratory problems, certain cancers, etc. In this article, Dr Pradeep Chowbey, Chairman of Max Institute of Minimal Access, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Executive Vice-Chairman, Max Healthcare, New Delhi, who is an authority on this subject matter, shared some insightful knowledge on this life-threatening condition and its impact and correlation with other conditions.

Obesity and Diabetes: Obese patients have very high chances of developing diabetes. This condition is termed as DIABESITY. In fact, more than 60% of diabetic patients are obese. The severity of obesity directly affects diabetes management. It is scientifically documented that weight loss significantly helps in resolving this condition.

Obesity and Heart diseases: If one is overweight or obese, he/she can develop hypertension and atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries because of deposition of plaque which restricts the flow of blood to the heart), which puts one at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Obesity and Joint problems: Anyone who is 10 kgs overweight has approximately 40% extra pressure on knees. Hence, overweight people are at much greater risk of developing arthritis. With damaged joints and excess pressure due to weight, the problem becomes even worse. Knee replacements in obese people are not recommended and if done, are not very successful as the artificial joints are not able to bear the excess body weight. Read – 1 in 6 Indians suffer from arthritis: Here are 5 Ayurvedic herbs and treatments to boost weight loss and ease knee pain

Obesity and Sleeping disorders: With excess fat accumulation, especially around the neck and trunk area, there is difficulty in breathing. Most morbidly obese patients suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and complain of daytime sleepiness and breathing difficulty coupled with snoring at night. Patients diagnosed with severe sleep apnea are often advised to use supportive equipment. Even a 10% decrease in weight improves sleep apnea significantly.

Obesity and Fertility issues: Obesity is known to cause menstrual irregularities or sometimes even absence of ovulation. The chances of conception decrease and even the fertility treatments are unlikely to work. Moreover, there are increased chances of miscarriage and perinatal complications. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a risk factor for infertility, and obese women are three times more likely to suffer from infertility than women who have a normal body mass index. Obese women take longer to conceive than women in the normal weight range and even on conception, they have a higher risk of pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, developing diabetes and chances of premature birth. The likelihood of cesarean sections also increases which put the mother and the baby at high risk.

Association of obesity with cancer: In the current scenario considering the trends, obesity may overtake tobacco as the leading cause of cancer. Moreover, obesity also adversely affects the efficacy of cancer treatment. Obesity is associated with increased risks of these cancer types – oesophagus, pancreas, colon and rectum, breast (after menopause), endometrium (lining of the uterus), kidney, thyroid and gallbladder.

Causes of weight gain and obesity

With increased consumption of junk and packaged foods and the unhealthy lifestyle pattern, not only the millennials but children are also falling prey to obesity. In fact, childhood obesity is a major health concern that India is struggling with today. The most worrisome fact is that 80% of these obese children grow up into obese adults.

A survey by Max Healthcare, conducted in Delhi-NCR, reveals that at least 40% of children (5-9-year-olds), teens (10-14-year-olds) and adolescents (15-17-year-olds) in the region are overweight or obese. The survey further delves into insights from about 1000 parents of overweight and obese children and adolescents, which reveals 84% of girls and 82% of boys are physically and emotionally affected by their body weight issues. Read – Does drinking warm lemon water on an empty stomach help with weight loss? Read to know

Interestingly, out of a range of factors leading to obesity overeating (72%) followed by genetic reasons (40%) and unmonitored food habits (33.5%) are the leading factors of weight gain.

  • Over 75% of young children gain weight due to overeating
  • More girls gain weight due to overeating (75%) and unmonitored eating habits (40.8%) in comparison to boys (69.1% and 26% respectively)

How to prevent obesity

Obesity exposes children to serious health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and depression from a very early stage. On this, Dr Chowbey further provided us with the prevention and treatment measures for the condition.

Gaining knowledge about the disease, its causes and associated risks right from childhood is imperative. It is essential to sensitize the school authorities, parents and children about the Body Mass Index (BMI) and monitor it regularly.

Treatment and weight loss tips for obese people with different BMI

Lifestyle modifications: For people who are overweight i.e., with BMI above 27.5 kg/m2 with any obesity-related medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, etc., or people who are obese i.e. with BMI above 32.5 kg/m2 without any obesity-related medical condition, dietary changes and lifestyle modifications including an exercise regime help the patient to reach their normal BMI..

Surgical intervention: For people, who fall in the morbidly obese category, i.e. BMI > 37.5 kg/m2 with or without obesity-related medical conditions or BMI > 32.5 kg/m2 with obesity-related medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, joint pains etc., surgical intervention is advised.

Understanding your body weight is a crucial step towards gauging your health and undertake suitable preventive measures and treatments to prevent yourself from falling in the trap of obesity.



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