For many people, the subject of weight management is a personal one. The effects of weight gain are numerous and diverse, ranging from altered physical appearance, to the increased risk of certain disease states, as well as the development of psychological and social problems. Identifying the need for weight loss is an important step in the path to improving your health.
The issue of obesity is one of particular note worldwide, with the levels of overweight and obesity reaching pandemic proportions. With a combined rate of overweight and obesity of 61.4% in 2007 / 2008, Australia is ranked as one of the most overweight developed countries in the world.
With the prevalence of overweight and obesity continually rising, and the burden of obesity and its associated illnesses costing an estimated $21 billion in 2005, the issue of weight loss is important, both on a personal and community level.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines overweight and obesity as the abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk in health.
The measurement of a person's exact body fat percentage is complex, often requiring medical imaging services which are expensive and complicated. The body mass index, or BMI, is a weight - to - height ratio, and has been regarded as the non - invasive medical standard, used as a substitute to estimate body fat. As the BMI is based on weight, it is not a direct measure of fat. BMI categories include:
A simple calculation, BMI is a person's body weight (kg), divided by their height (m) squared - i.e. If someone weighed 75kg, and was 1.75m tall:
Thus, this patient would be considered in the "normal" BMI category.
Numerous health problems have been associated with obesity:
In order to achieve safe, long lasting weight loss, a visit to your doctor would be beneficial in developing a weight loss program that is suitable for you. Deciding to get help and make a lifestyle change is a big step, and our GP's are experienced in assisting patients through this process.
Whilst crash dieting and fitness fads are exciting and show quick results, to achieve long-term weight loss, a lifestyle change is required by the individual. In order to properly achieve this, you may seek the help of a number of health care practitioners (i.e. dietitian, psychologist, exercise physiologist etc.). By first visiting your doctor, they will be able to offer you advice, and refer you to the appropriate health care services in order to tailor a weight management plan that best suits you.