World Obesity Day is a powerful reminder of one of the most pressing public health problems that the world is facing. As the prevalence of obesity continues to rise, reaching epidemic levels in many regions, the need for coordinated efforts and the urgency to address obesity through innovative approaches has never been more concerning than it is today. The annual obesity program is a medium to raise awareness, encourage public participation, and support efforts to fight obesity and associated problems.

In the 21st century, due to evolving sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diet patterns, and other environmental influences, obesity has become a significant threat to human well-being.

Let us consider the challenges and opportunities provided by world organisations on this World Obesity Day and reiterate our dedication to improving health equity, creating healthy environments, and helping people gain and maintain a healthy weight.

Together, we can create a healthier and more resilient world for our future generations.

What is obesity, and how does it affect you?

Obesity is the condition of having too much fat in the body. Body mass index (BMI) is the simple calculation of an individual’s height and weight used to define obesity.

  • BMI > 25 is considered overweight
  • BMI > 30 is considered obese

Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem; it is a medical condition that increases the risk of many other health problems, which include cardiac diseases, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, liver disorders, certain types of cancers, etc.

Obesity is caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, an unhealthy diet, less physical activity, and other environmental factors. Gaining weight is easy, but it is hard to lose weight, and the reasons why people find it hard to lose weight are many.

However, losing a small quantity of weight can improve many obesity-related health problems. Traditional weight loss options like following a diet plan, regular physical activity, and other lifestyle changes can help you lose weight. When nothing works, bariatric surgery is the surgical option for treating obesity.

How can we tackle obesity with lifestyle changes?

Making necessary lifestyle changes is a healthy way to lose weight. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the priority changes one needs to make, to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Moreover, it also helps to manage or reverse some obesity-related health conditions like hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

Doctors say that making lifestyle changes is not always easy. They recommend a customized weight loss plan based on your current diet, activity level, medications, and overall health.

Some people may achieve good weight loss just with relentless lifestyle changes alone, while others may need medication or bariatric surgery to help them lose weight more effectively.

Below are the top changes to be made in your life to achieve maximum weight loss.

  • Healthy Eating Habits (a balanced diet)
  • Regular physical activity (exercise)
  • Stay Hydrated (drink plenty of water)
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Manage stress
  • Seek social support
  • Set goals and practice self-care

Be patient and persistent, because weight loss can’t be achieved overnight; it takes some time. Do your part by staying committed to your goals.

Various treatment options are available to treat Obesity

Several treatment options are available to help obese people lose and maintain weight. Diet and lifestyle changes come first during the weight loss journey, where medications and surgery are other options.

Obesity treatment is often based on multiple factors, and there is no single treatment that works. One should strictly change their lifestyle even after weight loss surgery to achieve sustainable weight loss. In any weight loss journey, consistent positive change is key to progress.

What are the various surgical aspects of treating obesity?

Any weight loss journey starts with the traditional non-surgical options, and when they are not able to provide the required weight loss, experts suggest undergoing bariatric surgery. The majority of surgeries typically entail the reduction of size of the stomach and modifying the anatomy of the digestive system. These surgeries aim to change the way we absorb nutrients from the food we consume, which eventually promotes weight loss and also improves many obesity-related health conditions.

Here are some of the most common bariatric surgeries performed for weight loss:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve
  • Adjustable gastric banding
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • One anastomosis gastric bypass (OAGB)
  • Duodenal switch
  • Revisional bariatric surgery

Advancements in the medical industry have led to the discovery of endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty or intragastric balloons for weight loss. These minimally invasive procedures use endoscopic tools to reduce the volume of the stomach without any surgical incisions.

Every surgical procedure has its benefits, risks, and eligibility criteria. However. the choice of surgery depends on many factors, which include BMI, medical conditions associated with obesity, patient choices, and specific recommendations from surgeons.

How will life be after bariatric surgery?

Life after bariatric surgery certainly opens the door to a new path for many individuals, which is healthier, longer, and more fulfilling than ever before. Though the journey of weight loss has many challenges, the benefits can be truly life-changing and outweigh the challenges, which help patients lead more confident lives than ever.

By adopting special guidelines suggested by the surgeon and remaining committed to their goals, patients can look forward to a brighter and more promising future. Remember, the key to successful weight loss relies on determination, patience, and self-care. We appreciate your journey to become a better and happier version of yourself!

The blog has been authored by Dr Venu Gopal Pareek, Consultant Laparoscopic & Robotic Bariatric Surgeon. The content is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. More about the author

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