Understanding Obesity

by | Aug 18, 2020

Obesity is one of the major nutrition-related disorders. Its rapid rise in the UAE and many other countries has been paralleled with a dramatic shift from traditional, more nutritionally dense dietary patterns, toward more energy-rich and unhealthy patterns.

Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or greater. BMI or Body Mass Index is a measurement of a person’s weight with respect to his or her height and is used to categorize whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. Obesity is influenced by a combination of factors, which usually results in consuming more calories than the body needs. These factors may include physical inactivity, diet, genes, lifestyle, ethnic and socioeconomic background, certain conditions, and use of certain medications.

People who are obese have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In obese persons, cells of fat tissues have to process more nutrients than they can manage. The stress in these cells triggers an inflammation that releases a protein known as cytokines. Cytokines then block the signals of insulin receptors, which gradually causes the cells to become resistant to insulin. Obesity is believed to account for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Approach to Weight Loss

Living with obesity and type 2 diabetes is not without its risks. These risks include heart disease and stroke, cancer, gallbladder disease, and sleep apnea, among others. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to take charge of your health. Losing weight and managing diabetes includes eating healthy, exercising regularly, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and, if advised by your doctor, using medications. GluCare’s weight loss therapy for adults is based on three components:

  • Behavior therapy, such as recognizing triggers for eating and learning how to pinpoint obstacles that hold you back from making lifestyle changes
  • Physical activity

This combination has been found to be more successful than using any one intervention alone. At GluCare you will work with a dedicated care team that will be available for you 24/7. Because no two people are alike, your GluCare team will help you understand your body, help you define your personal goals, incorporate personal lifestyle changes to reach your goals, and help you keep your motivation for positive change.

References

Al-Goblan A.S., Al-Alfi M.A., ZKhan M. (2014). The mechanism linking diabetes mellitus and obesity. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2014; 7: 587–591. DOI: 10.2147/DMSO.S67400 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259868/

Harvard Health Publishing (2020).Obesity Prevention Source. Health Risks. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/health-effects/

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Interventions for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2016.  https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(15)01636-6/pdf

World Health Organisation (2020). Obesity and overweight. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight

About the Author

Celine Bjercke is a DHA-licensed Clinical Dietician and Head of Coaching Engagement at GluCare. Celine’s unique cross disciplinary background allows her to engage with patients and understand their needs at multiple levels.

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