Published on by DR Chetan Lalseta




·      Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, atleast 300 million of them are obese.

·      Obesity and overweight is a major risk to Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease,hypertension and stroke and certain forms of cancer.

·      The key factors are increased consumption of energy dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars and physical inactivity.

·      As a rule,women have more body fat than men.Most healthcare professionals agree that men with more than 25% body fat and women with more than 30% body fat are obese.


“Obesity” refers to an excessive amount of body fat.

“Overweight” refers to an excessive amount of body weight that includes muscle,bone,fat & water.


Body Mass Index:

The BMI is a tool used to assess overweight and obesity and monitor changes in body weight.It is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in pounds by height in inches squared.

WEIGHT CATEGORY                      BMI  SCORE

Underweight                                   Below 18.5

Healthy weight                               18.5 to 24.9

Overweight                                      25 to 29.9

Obese                                               30 and above


The balance between caloric intake and energy expenditure determines a person’s weight.Some contributing factors for obesity are:

·      Genetics: A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese.

·      Overeating: Overeating leads to weight gain.especially if the diet is high in fat.

·      Slow metabolism: Women have less muscle mass than men.Muscle burns more calories than other tissues.As a result, women have slower metabolism than men, and hence have a tendency to put on more weight than men,and weight loss is more difficult in women.

·      Physical inactivity: The National Health & Examination Survey showed that physical inactivity is strongly correlated with weight gain in both sexes.

·      Medications: Medications associated with weight gain includes Steroids,Antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

·      Psychological factors: Emotions influences eating habits in some persons,specially during boredom,sadness,stress or anger.

·      Lack of sleep may also contribute to obesity.




Health risks:

·      Gallbladder diseases & gall stones.

·      Fatty liver diseases.

·      Gastroesophageal reflux.

·      Osteoarthritis and Gout.

·      Pulmonary problems including sleep apnea.

·      Reproductive problems in women including menstrual irregularities and infertility.

Psychological and Social Effects:

Emotional suffering may be one of the most painful parts of obesity.Feelings of rejection,shame or depression may occur.



Doctors generally agree that people who have BMI of 30 or more can improve their health through weight loss.

Preventing additional weight gain is recommendedif one has BMI between 25 and 29.9.

Treatment of Obesity:

The method of treatment depends on level of obesity,overall health condition & readiness t lose weight.Treatment may include a combination of diet,exercise,behavior modification,weight loss drugs and Bariatric surgery.

Following steps are important to work towards a healthier weight.

1)           Establish a reasonable target weight:

·      Discuss the BMI score with ur expert doctor & let them assess the related risk factors for disease and health problems.

·      Depending on person’s circumstances,a reasonable target goal may be a weight loss of 10% of body weight over six months.

·      In some case, minimum goal may be to prevent further weight gain.

·      It is best to lose weight gradually—keep in mind that small amount of weight loss can have positive health impact.

2)           Best Health Diet Tips:

·      Drink plenty of water or other calorie free beverages.

·      Think about what you can add to diet, not what you should take away.

·      Consider whether you are really hungry.

·      Be choosy about nighttime snacks.

·      Enjoy your favourite foods.

·      Eat several mini-meals during the day.

·      Eat protein at every meal.

·      Order children’s portion at restaurants.

·      Use non-food alternative to cope with stress.

·      Have oily free food and also avoid junk foods like pizzas,burgers,etc.

·      Avoid to have food while watching television.

3) Be as active as possible:

·      Any kind of physical activity is beneficial.Not only can it assist with weight loss & maintenance,it also improves health in many ways.

·      Work towards a long term goal of atleast 30 minutes of a moderate physical activity on most days of the week.

·      It is best to start any new physical activity gradually,taking special care to prevent injury.

4) Choose Aerobic activities that are fun:

   People are more likely to remain active if they like what they are doing.Choose activities accordingly:

·      Brisk walking or jogging

·      Bicycling

·      Swimming

·      Aerobic exercise classes

·      Dancing

·      Playing basketball or soccer

5) Be Good to yourself:

Try some of this ideas to help relieve stress and stay on track with your fitness and nutrition goals.

·      Get plenty of sleep.

·      Practise deep breathing and relaxing muscles one at a time.

·      Take a breath and go for a walk.

·      Take short stretch breaks throughout the day.

·      Try taking yoga class to energize yourself and reduce stress.

·      Try a new hobby,like a pottery class.

·      Surround yourself with company of enjoyable people.

·      Laughter is one of the most relaxing thing.

·      Think of activities that will give your spirit a little lift.

6) Weigh every week & keep records:

·      People who weigh once a week tends to be more successful at maintaining a weight loss.

·      Keeping records is helpful in assessing overall progress in weight.

·      Keeping a record of food consumed each day can help maintain the focus on diet plan and provide additional information related to progress.

·      Keeping an activity chart can help in keeping track of whether physical activity goals are being met.

·      Keep realistic fitness goals.

7)  Role of medication in the treatment of Obesity:

Medication treatment of obesity should be used only in patients who have health risks related to obesity—such as Diabetes,Hypertension,etc.

Like diet and exercise, the goal of medication treatment should be realistic.With successful medication treatment, one can expect an initial weight loss of at least 5 pounds during 1-3 months of treatment and a total weight loss of 10-15% of the initial body weight.

8) Surgery for Obesity:

For those severely obese patients and associated all risk factors of obesity, Bariatric surgery offers good option not only to reduce weight but also relief in risk factors.  




      M.D.(Skin & V.D.)








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