Patient Info

Obesity

Obesity is not a simple condition of eating too much. It is now recognized that obesity is a serious, chronic disease.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity could be a combination of the following:

  • The genes you inherited from your parents
  • How well your body turns food into energy
  • Your eating and exercising habits
  • Your surroundings
  • Psychological factors

Consequences of Obesity

If you are obese, severely obese, or morbidly obese, you may have:

Major health risks

  • Shorter Life Expectancy
  • Compared to people of normal weight, obese people have a 50% to 100% increased risk of dying prematurely
  • Obese people have more risk for:
    • Diabetes (type 2)
    • Joint problems (e.g., arthritis)
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart disease
    • Gallbladder problems
    • Certain types of cancer (breast, uterine, colon)
    • Digestive disorders (e.g., gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GORD)
    • Breathing difficulties (e.g., sleep apnea, asthma)
    • Psychological problems such as depression
    • Problems with fertility and pregnancy
    • Incontinence

Risks to psychological and social well-being

  • Negative self-image
  • Social isolation
  • Discrimination

Difficulties with day-to-day living

  • Normal tasks become harder when you are obese, as movement is more difficult
  • You tend to tire more quickly and you find yourself short of breath
  • Public transport seats, telephone booths, and cars may be too small for you
  • You may find it difficult to maintain personal hygiene

Treatment

Non-surgical intervention:

Many people who are unhealthily overweight have tried in vain to lose excess weight. The market is overflowing with all kinds of slimming diets, cures and products that advertise success. But many studies show that diets and slimming aids rarely succeed in helping people achieve the desired result of long lasting weight reduction. In fact, many people who have tried dieting gain back more than they lost when they go off the diet.

Surgery

If you have tried diets, cures, tablets or medicines and they haven't helped you lose and maintain a healthy weight, one option may be an operation to artificially reduce the amount your stomach can hold and decrease your appetite. A new surgical method is the Laparoscopic Gastric Banding.

Click here to find out more about obesity and treatment options