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Obesity is a term used to describe the state of being very overweight generally with a body mass index of 30 or above. It is now a common condition in the UK, affecting around a quarter of adults and 1 in 5 children, usually within more afﬂuent countries and areas within countries across the world.
Being severely overweight can lead to problems like breathlessness and back pain, and it can result in low self-esteem. It also has the potential to reduce life expectancy and is associated with an increased risk of a range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and certain types of cancer. Because of the dangers it poses, obesity is viewed as one of the leading public health concerns of modern times.
Some people have a genetic predisposition to gain too much weight, and certain medications plus underlying medical problems like an under-active thyroid or Cushing’s Syndrome can make someone more likely to be obese. In most cases though it is caused by a combination of consuming too many calories and doing too little exercise, especially if one has grown up in a family of unhealthy eaters as this same habit can develop into adulthood.
The energy in food is measured in calories and the healthy daily amount of calories for women is 2000 a day and for men, this is raised to about 2500. When the body takes in high amounts of energy from food through a poor diet and does not get to burn it off through at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, then this excess is stored as fat in the body.
A poor diet could consist of:
Being overweight can cause distress and a severe lack of conﬁdence in sufferers. One of the biggest beneﬁts to weight loss can be psychological because, as self-esteem lifts, so too can a sense of depression, anxiety and embarrassment due to excess sweating or an inability to do certain physical activities, as well as generally feeling better about how you look.
In terms of the physical beneﬁts for losing weight, there is any number of reasons for doing so including a longer, healthier, happier life.
Being overweight can put the sufferer in danger of heart and liver disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, complications with fertility and pregnancy, high blood pressure and certain cancers including bowel and breast and by losing weight, you are dramatically decreasing these risks from your life.
Weight loss is always associated with a change in lifestyle. Without developing new, healthier habits any weight we lose will inevitably be regained sooner or later. We need to incorporate physical exercise into our lives, even if this just means walking to work instead of getting a bus, or taking the stairs instead of a lift.
Finding a local exercise class, weight loss group or a personal trainer could really help you
increase your weekly activity too. Finding a group of people to support you on your journey, or choosing to work with a trainer who has supported other clients to lose weight or one who has overcome obesity themselves, can be very psychologically beneﬁcial. For some, it can difﬁcult to go it alone - so looking for a safe place to get support, advice, inspiration and friendship can all help to bed in these lifelong changes.
Your GP can help you ﬁnd support services on the NHS such as local authority run weight loss groups and referred exercise sessions with a qualiﬁed trainer.
As discussed, it is also important to tweak our diets. There is no set rule when trying to lose weight, but most obese people are advised to cut their energy intake by around 600 calories per day. The most effective way to do this is to substitute fatty and sugary foods for healthier options, including plenty of vegetables.
In addition, you could also book a free, conﬁdential appointment online with a doctor at Click Pharmacy who can talk you through aiding your weight loss efforts by taking specialist medications and treatments.
Our range of weight loss treatments includes Orlistat, Alli and Xenical. All of these medicines
contain the active ingredient orlistat, which acts as a lipase inhibitor to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from the foods you eat.
Xenical is the prescription strength version of Alli and would be prescribed by a doctor as part of an overall weight loss management plan for anyone with a BMI of 28 and at least 2 health risks factors or else anyone with a BMI of 30 or more. But whether you choose to use the non-prescription form or the higher strength versions, it is important to be aware that these drugs work best when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes.
To ﬁnd out more about your treatment options, take a look around our website. You can also contact our medical experts or speak to your GP if you have any additional queries.
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