Obesity Management

Obesity is a growing epidemic that is affecting billions of people around the world. Some 25.6% of Singaporeans are overweight.

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How does obesity affect my health?

Obesity is a growing epidemic that is affecting billions of people around the world. According to the National Health Survey (2004), 25.6% of Singaporeans are overweight (BMI: 25.0kg/m2 – 29.9kg/m2) and 6.8% are obese (BMI > 30.0kg/m2).

It is well established that obesity increases the risk of developing chronic diseases, including Type II Diabetes Mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and several types of cancer. Individuals who are obese are also at higher risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders1 such as osteoarthritis2 of weight-bearing joints, chronic kidney disease and obstructive sleep apnoea. These obesity-related co-morbidities increases the individual’s mortality, decreases the functional capacity and quality of life.

Related: Calculate Your BMI

How can I treat obesity?

A modest weight loss of about 5 - 10 per cent of the individual’s current body weight has been shown to be capable of reducing cardiovascular risk factors. The weight loss helps to decrease blood pressure in hypertensive and pre-hypertensive patients; improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in patients with impaired fasting glucose or Type II Diabetes Mellitus; increase high-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol”); and decrease total cholesterol and triglycerides in hyper-lipidemic patients.

Despite the increased availability of medications and surgical interventions that promises to treat obesity, lifestyle modification is key to obesity management. Lifestyle modification has been shown to be capable of preventing the development of chronic diseases such as Type II Diabetes in obese and high-risk patients.

A comprehensive and effective obesity management focuses on health gains but not weight loss via lifestyle modification. It emphasises on healthy changes to the individual’s dietary habits, increase in daily physical activities, structured exercise programme and behavioural modification (such as motivation techniques, stress management).

Continue reading to learn practical tips on management of obesity


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Obesity Management

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