Consequences of Obesity

The term ‘obesity’ is the medical diagnosis for patients whom excess weight poses a health risk.  WHO (World Health Organization) defined overweight and obesity as “excess body fat that has accumulated to an extent that it is likely to be detrimental to health”.

Australia currently has an epidemic of obese or overweight individuals with approximately 60% of adults and 25% of children classified as overweight or obese.

Dieting and exercise have long been regarded as the conventional methods to achieve weight loss. However, for many, this method can fail to produce long term weight loss goals and permanent weight loss. Surgery is currently recognised as the only current effective treatment of obesity.

Weight loss surgery is considered a TOOL to help people loss weight.  Surgery is not magic; it enables the person to eat less and interferes with the hunger pathway.  People who are considering weight loss surgery must be committed to long term behaviour and lifestyle changes.  Every person undergoing surgery must be committed to making healthy food choices and have regular exercise for long term maintenance.


Causes of Obesity

  • Eating and exercising habits
  • The genes you inherited from your parents
  • How well your body turns food into energy
  • Your surroundings
  • Psychological factors
  • Consequences of Obesity

The substantial increase in health risks to obese individuals has made obesity one of the leading causes of preventable death and has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia.

Based on your BMI (Body Mass Index), broadly, the health risks increase the higher the BMI and significantly affect your overall life expectancy if you have a BMI of 35 or higher.

Major Health Risks Include:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Type II diabetes,
  • Gallbladder disease & Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Menstrual irregularities/infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Ulcers
  • Stress incontinence (women)
  • Kidney stones and chronic kidney disease
  • Snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea, asthma
  • Increased incidence of malignancy in the ovaries, endometrial cancer, cervix, uterus, breasts, bowel, prostate, pancreas and gallbladder cancer
  • Increased risks with any surgery,
  • Lower back pain, spinal disc disorders
  • Disorder of soft-tissue structures such as tendons, fascia and cartilage
  • Mobility disability
  • Accident proneness

Psychological risks and conditions include:

  • Depression & anxiety
  • neurotic disorder
  • eating disorders

There is a strong association between mood disorders and obesity; people with obesity are more likely to become depressed over time, and people with depression are more likely to become obese. Obesity may increase risk factors for depression such as body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem (Luppino et al. 2010).

An enormous number of short and long term health benefits can be achieved with weight loss, and the above conditions can be alleviated. Although, even greater health benefits can be achieved if enough weight is lost to return to a healthy BMI range.