Obesity is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Morbid obesity is described as Body Mass Index (BMI) of > 35. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. You can calculate your BMI here.

Am I obese?

18.5 to 24.9 Healthy
25 to 29.9 Overweight
30 to 39.9 Obese
> 40 Severly Obese

Why should I be worried?


Obesity can lead to a number of health problems. Some of them are due to physical stress of carrying extra weight. These include back and knee & hip pain. Obesity can lead to knee and hip arthritis and can impair mobility. This can stop you from being physically active, which in turn doesn’t help in your efforts to lose weight.

The effects of obesity can be more profound. In fact it is very well know that being obese makes you more likely to develop diabetes and high blood pressure. These two in turn increase the chances of you developing serious health problems like heart attacks and strokes. This effect of obesity on your body is called ‘metabolic syndrome’, which means that obesity somehow changes your metabolism and makes you prone a number of serious illnesses.

It is also well known that being obese impairs your menstrual periods. It isn’t uncommon that obese women to have irregular periods. More importantly, obesity can affect fertility making it harder to conceive children.

There is also emerging evidence that obesity can lead to higher chances of developing cancers such a breast and bowel cancers.


Does dieting work? Why can't I diet and lose weight?

Dieting certainly works. Good healthy protein rich diet coupled with good physical activity certainly helps you to lose weight. After a certain weight / BMI, many patients manage to lose good amount of weight by dieting alone. But unfortunately, most of the times they put the weight back on and more.

To demonstrate why, the following example of a patient that Mr Jayanthi has operated on.

Height 5ft 9 inch
Weight 27.5 stones
BMI 56.8
>Body weight at BMI of 25 12 stones
>Excess Body Weight 15.3 stones

As you can see from the above table, this patient is carrying an excess weight that is more than his normal weight. Therefore, this patient is carrying themselves and another person. Therefore, this patient would need to eat twice as many calories, even just to carry out day to day activities. If this patient starts dieting, he will be constantly hungry, and the diet will not be sustainable.


Gut hormones

Moreover, the patients’ gut hormones (hormones secreted by the gut) will be abnormal. In an obese patient, over the time, the hunger hormones (hormones that tell your brain that you are hungry and need to eat) are turned up. While the satiety hormones (hormones that tell your brain that you have had enough to eat) are turned down. These changes make it even harder to lose weight by dieting alone.

Bariatric Surgery is proven to be a safe and effective way to lose weight. More importantly sustain the weight loss and improve quality of life. Surgery for obesity is now proven to improve conditions such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Arthritis and many other obesity related health problems.


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