It is difficult for people who do not suffer from obesity to understand the enormous toll this disease has on your life. It can have a significant effect on your feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem, resulting in feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt and even depression. Being significantly overweight can also have a major impact on your ability to remain active and socially engaged. Many people who suffer from obesity report feeling isolated as a result of their inability to participate in activities that require a level of physical fitness or endurance. But beyond those immediately apparent effects, obesity has far-reaching implications for your overall health as well.
Obesity-related health risks
Numerous studies have focused on the link between obesity and serious health risks. For instance, people with higher levels of body fat and weight are at much higher risk for:
- coronary heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- sleep apnea
- certain types of cancer
Losing weight has been shown to reduce the health-related risks associated with obesity, yet despite such compelling evidence, millions of Americans remain overweight or obese. The complexity of the disease of obesity and the need to treat it both physically and psychologically is largely responsible for the difficulty people have maintaining weight loss long term
Obesity is most commonly measured using your body mass index, which is essentially the ratio of your height to your weight. Many physicians also consider your waist measurement when considering obesity-related health risks, since some risks appear to be more closely linked with belly fat than other types of body fat. More accurate calculations are also available with devices that measure the percentage of body fat using electrical impedance.
Your weight can be influenced by a wide range of factors, and while some factors, like genetics and family history, cannot be changed, there are lifestyle-related factors that can be adjusted with education and practice.
Successful weight loss
Of course, the two most common factors that can be changed – and the two that will arguably have the greatest impact on your weight – are diet and exercise. We’ve all heard it before: “All you have to do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more.” Not exactly the most helpful advice when you’re having trouble losing weight. And it’s not entirely accurate, either. Many people who are obese or significantly overweight develop metabolic issues that can make it difficult to lose weight on their own. Likewise, there may be behavioral issues that make weight loss too difficult for many people to achieve alone.
Medical weight loss uses a clearly defined plan of action that takes individual risks, behaviors and lifestyle influences into account to achieve optimum benefits for each individual patient. Medical weight loss programs also provide a solid framework to help keep pounds off once they’ve been shed. Because the issues involved in weight gain are unique to the individual, treatment strategies must be precisely tailored to the individual to be effective.
Losing weight is a critically important step to take to ensure you remain as healthy as possible. Call our office today to learn how medical weight loss can help you.