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The Causes of Obesity and The Benefits Of Weight Loss

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Obesity is an increasingly common health issue today in the UK, with it affecting one in four adults and one in five children between the ages of 10 and 11. 

How Do I Know If I’m Obese?

The term ‘obesity’ is used to describe someone who is very overweight and who holds a lot of excess body fat. The fat is sometimes ‘hidden’ and visceral fat, or fat around your internal organs. This can be a serious health risk.

When health professionals look at whether to consider someone obese, they do this in one of two ways:

Measuring Body Mass Index (BMI):

  • 18.5 to 24.9 means a healthy weight
  • 25 to 29.9 means overweight
  • 30 to 39.9 means obese
  • 40 or above means severely obese 

However, this measure is not a definitive diagnosis as it does not take muscle weight into consideration, but it is a useful indication of whether someone is a healthy weight or not.

Waist Measurement: by measuring the circumference of someone’s waist you can get a more accurate image as to whether they are to be considered obese or overweight when married with the BMI measurement. 

On average, the male waist circumference is 94cm (37in) and the female waist circumference is 80cm (31.5in).

If you have a BMI of above 25 and your waist circumference measures above the average, then it would be generally considered that you would be overweight.


What Are The Causes Of Obesity?

There are many reasons for someone to suffer with obesity. We know that individuals can vary in their susceptibility to becoming obese and that this is genetically determined. There is a constant interplay between someone’s environment (home life, foods available, drivers to eat, habits and customs around food) and their genetics (appetite, satisfaction with food, addictive potential, metabolic rate, psychology). The likelihood of achieving weight loss is down to improving as many of these factors as possible. While surgery can help change some of the genetically determined problems (such as metabolism, appetite and satisfaction), the patient will have to help change the environment, customs and habits.

So, what do we need help to change:

Extra Calories

The average, physically active, male should take in about 2,500 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight and a woman should have about 2,000 a day. When this amount is exceeded or there is no physical activity to use the calories, then this extra energy is stored as fat.

Lack of Exercise:

Most jobs are considered to be sedentary, meaning that they involve little to no physical activity, such as sitting at a desk and driving to work. As well as work life involving little exercise, people often turn to watching TV, browsing the internet or playing computer games as part of their relaxation during their free time rather than engaging in regular physical activity.

The Department of Health advises that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, like cycling or fast walking, every week, that doesn’t need to be completed in one session, but can be done in small chunks throughout the week. 

If you are not active, then the energy provided by your food that goes unused is stored as fat within the body, building up over time to increase a person’s weight. 

Poor Diet:

The kind of food being eaten by someone has as big an impact on their weight as their activity level and calorie consumption.

  • Consuming food and drink that contain high amounts of fat and sugars.
  • Drinking too much alcohol, as this contains a lot of calories.
  • Eating larger portions of food than you need.
  • Comfort eating is a large contributing factor, as when people partake in this they often reach for sugary/fatty foods to make them feel better.

Underlying Medical Reasons:

In some cases, there are underlying medical reasons that contribute to excessive weight gain, such as;

  • Underactive thyroid gland,
  • Cushing’s syndrome (high steroid levels)
  • Fibromyalgia or ME limiting activity
  • Joint problems leading to poor mobility
  • Insulin treatment for diabetes

However, these conditions can be diagnosed early and managed properly to prevent or reduce the likelihood of weight gain being an outcome. 

Some medications don’t help when it comes to weight gain, for example, insulin for diabetes can encourage the body to store sugar as fat, but again when managed properly and physical exercise is taken regularly this can be managed.

What Are the Health Risks of Being Obese?

Being obese can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes,
  • Coronary heart disease,
  • Stroke,
  • Some cancers are encouraged to develop due to a person being overweight.

However, the effects of being obese are not just physical, but psychological too. Being obese can lead to a decline in quality of life, which in turn can lead to psychological issues with depression and low self-esteem making someone less motivated to improve their weight and might encourage them to gain more weight.

Can Weight Loss Surgery Help?

Weight loss surgery is a safe option to take if you have been unsuccessful in losing weight and have significant obesity or a high Body Mass Index. There are several different surgery options that have different levels of invasiveness, and there is even the option of a Gastric Balloon that does not involve surgery at all. 

Having weight loss surgery can change the lives of people who are obese and struggle to lose weight, as it has many benefits to the individual:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke, by reducing the calorie intake, in turn, reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Depression can be alleviated because the individual will feel successful in their weight loss attempts making them more confident in their appearance.
  • Reduce sleep apnea.
  • Alleviate the symptoms or effects of some other medical conditions, for example, losing weight will improve the condition of bad knees by reducing the weight they have to carry.

There are many benefits to opting for weight loss surgery and here at Streamline Surgical, we pride ourselves on being private specialists in our field who look at each patient’s case as being unique. We understand the difference weight loss surgery can make to someone’s life and the importance of aftercare in making sure someone achieves their healthy future.

Begin your journey with us.

For more information on how weight loss surgery at Streamline Surgical can help you, please call 0333 016 3030 or fill out our online enquiry form.

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