What is obesity?
Contrary to popular belief, obesity is a chronic disease not a voluntary condition! Basically, it is an abnormal increase in the size and number of fat cells in the body.
How do I know if I am obese?
You need to know your Body Mass Index (BMI). The World Health Organization and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommend a uniform classification for weight utilizing the Body Mass Index (BMI). An individual with a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight while an individual with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obese.
How is my BMI determined?
The BMI is calculated in the US system by dividing an individual's weight in pounds by his/her height in inches squared and multiplying that number by 703. If you don’t want to do the math, for your convenience, a BMI calculator is located on this website.
What are the risks of being obese?
Obese and overweight individuals are at risk for a variety of serious health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, certain cancers, depression, gall bladder disease, sleep apnea and the metabolic syndrome, among others. It has been said that obesity is the second most common cause of preventable deaths in the United States. It is estimated that annually 100,000-300,000 deaths occur because of obesity. Fortunately, many of these risks can be reduced or avoided entirely by weight reduction. Indeed, for some individuals who have already developed one or more of these conditions weight loss can improve or, in some cases, even eliminate them.
Can obesity be treated?
Yes! First and foremost the patient must be truly ready and motivated to lose weight! Goals must be established for weight loss appropriate to the individual and an analysis of current diet and activity must be performed. The keys to successful weight loss are motivation, support, dietary adjustments, and regular physical exercise. In certain cases, weight loss medications are valuable treatment options to use while in others, bariatric surgery is the appropriate course to follow. As with all serious medical problems, care should be provided by a physician.
I want to lose weight! How do I get started?
Before beginning a weight loss program it is wise to see a physician knowledgeable in weight loss techniques for advice as well as a thorough health and physical evaluation. This evaluation should include an accurate determination of your BMI, body fat percentage as well as lean body percentage (muscle, bone and fluid). Appropriate laboratory tests should be performed as well as an analysis of current dietary patterns and physical activities. With this information you and your physician will be able to develop realistic treatment goals and a plan through which the goals can be realized. Equally important is the development of and adherence to a weight maintenance program once the goals have been met. Obesity, like many other diseases is a chronic condition which requires ongoing vigilance and commitment on the part of the patient. Although achieving appropriate weight loss goals is frequently frustrating, it can be accomplished!
(MODELS NOT ACTUAL PATIENTS)