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  • Writer's pictureDr Calista Spiro

Adult Obesity

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Adult obesity affects 3 out of 5 Australians and as many in the UK and the US. Obesity is defined mathematically by their body mass index or BMI, whereby one's weight divided by the square of their height and is a crude measure of one's mass. A high BMI can mean that a person has a high body fat content or a high body muscle content. To interpret the meaning of a high BMI, a health professional will need to assess a patient before providing any advice.

To allow doctors and other clinicians to speak about their patients' health and BMI, the magnitude of the BMI is classified further into the following:

Class 1: BMI of 30 to <35

Class 2: BMI of 35 to <40

Class 3: BMI of 40 or more.

Obesity is complex and is due to many factors that are out of one's control. Some of these factors include genetics, psychological trauma, psychiatric illness. industrialised farming, advertising, consumerism, modern living including transportation, inactivity, medications, processed foods, preparation of foods pre-sale, socio-economic standing and socialised eating.

There is social stigma against obesity and pressure to maintain particularly manicured and slim appearance. This belief makes it difficult for obese patients to seek help without judgement, find information that is truthful and get the support needed to effect change if desired or needed. Exercise and physical training is available at a cost, which is to the detriment of patients who cannot afford it due to personal circumstance, disability or competing needs. It is purported to be a method of weight loss which is incorrect. Exercise and physical activity are necessary for cardiovascular health and some caloric deficit, but in itself is not sufficient for weight loss in a sustainable manner.

Our practice aims to support our patients and assist them in a non-judgemental way. We focus on health and are treating the medical conditions caused by obesity to allow our patients to be the best version of themselves. For more information, please click the links below. Reading can serve as a primer for conversation or questions that we can answer for you at your next consultation.

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