Obesity is a disease where a person’s weight is way more the expected weight for a person’s height. This can be determined by computing for the Body Mass Index (BMI). In the Philippines, we follow the Asia Pacific Guidelines on obesity and their cut-off BMI for obesity is equal to or more than 25 kg/m2.
Since obesity is a disease, a person living with obesity should consult a physician. The physician will evaluate the patient to determine the cause of obesity. Obesity is a complex disease and may not simply be due to excessive eating or lack of physical activity. Factors that contribute to obesity include biologic problems like hormonal imbalances, genetic factors, the person’s environment, life events and mental health issues.
After identifying the cause, the physician would then screen for the presence of other medical problems that may be brought about by obesity such as Diabetes, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Sleep apnea and even Cancer.
The physician prepares a nutrition and activity prescription for the person living with obesity. This prescription is individualized for each patient. Medicines to treat obesity are also available but should only be taken when they are prescribed by a physician. They are usually added on to the nutrition and activity prescription. Surgical treatments for obesity are also available and are offered by a physician to a person living with obesity when certain medical conditions are met.
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