Weight Loss Treatment

What is Overweight and Obesity?

Being overweight or obese, may be defined as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation, that can potentially present a risk to an individual’s health. The recommended population’s measurement of obesity is through body mass index (BMI), which is your weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters).  

A BMI of 30 and above is generally considered to be obese. On the other hand, a BMI that is equivalent or more than 25 is considered overweight. 

Are overweight issues common in Singapore?

According to the recent figures from Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), approximately 36.2% of Singaporeans aged between 18 to 69 are overweight. What’s more, nearly 13% of school-attending children are overweight as well.  

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014, Singaporeans has the second-highest overweight prevalence in South East Asia.

 

How do I know if I am overweight?

WHO provides a BMI guideline to help people know whether they are overweight or not. This is a simple calculation that involves dividing your body mass or weight, by the square of his height in meters.

According to WHO:

  • You are underweight if your BMI is less than 18.5
  • You have a normal weight if your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9
  • You are overweight if your BMI is between 25 and 29.9
  • You are obese your BMI is greater or equal to 30.

However, the following BMI guideline is recommended for Asian population which usually features relatively smaller people:

  • Underweight: BMI of less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: BMI between 18.5 and 22.9
  • Pre-obese (overweight): BMI between 23.0 and 27.5
  • Obese: BMI of more than 27.5

Of course, these figures may not be the perfect indicators of obesity, but they help to give your doctor an idea of the standard weight compared to your height.

How can obesity be treated?

Obesity can be treated through a variety of techniques that may be applied simultaneously, which requires determination to be successful. You will not only require lifestyle changes, diet, eating habits, but also need to take part in some moderate physical activity. Your doctor can also help you to design an effective diet and workout plan to help you lose the unwanted weight and achieve a healthier BMI. 

What medications are available for weight loss?

These medications are only meant to boost your weight loss regimen. Below are some of the types of weight-loss medicines that can be used:

  • There are medications which inhibits the absorption of carbohydrates/fat into your system. This denies access of carbohydrates fat into your bloodstream, hence reducing energy intake dramatically. Though it is safe, this medication can result in gastrointestinal symptoms including flatulencebloating. increased bowel movements, diarrhea, and oily stools. 
  • Another type of medications which suppresses your appetite while boosting metabolism. However, it is not suitable for individuals with existing medical concerns and also comes with side effects such as palpitations, lack of sleep, gastric discomforts, nausea, dry mouth, anxiety, and high blood pressure. You may also develop tolerance with time, meaning it may stop functioning or become ineffective. 
  • Medication which comes in a pen-like microinjector can be used an adjunct to exercise and diet for weight loss and management. You may consider this option if you suffer from weight-related conditions, including obesity, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and type two diabetes. However, this is not ideal for those already on insulin treatment. 

What to expect during a consultation for weight loss treatment?

During the consultation, your doctor will have a look at your medical history, your activity level as well as your eating routine. He may also opt to carry out blood tests to check for other medical conditionsA complete medical examination will be performed along with other vital health parameters such as your blood pressure and heart rate. 

Is it important to treat my obesity?

Being overweight or obese can put you at great risk of developing other life-threatening conditions. It is a prime trigger of a group of conditions referred to as metabolic syndrome. These conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure and increased levels of cholesterol. When you have any of these chronic conditions, you are likely to develop other diseases such as ischaemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke. 

According to a study by the Singapore Diseases Burden, obesity-related conditions shows the largest health impact in terms of costs and suffering. What’s more, it is the largest single contributing factor to the national disease burden of diabetes. On a social aspect, obesity not only impacts your body image, self-esteem, but can also result in psychological stress.  

It is important to seek help for weight management early before the development of weight-related conditions. If you are currently suffering from weight-related conditions, being treated for weight loss will not only help to prevent the conditions from worsening, but also help you achieve a healthier body.

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