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Obesity and Weight Loss

Getting slim
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ObesityBeing obese is different from being overweight. Obesity is defined as being 20% or more over the maximum desirable weight for a man’s height or 25% or more in females. Obesity is an important condition which causes significant morbidity and mortality through increased rates of type 2 diabetes mellitus, heart disease, some cancers and arthritis.

For more information, see Obesity.

Measures of weight and nutrition

Measures of weightThe effect of food on the body can be measured by such tools as the body mass index and blood cholesterol testing. There are also many ways that the nutritional value of food can be measured, including by glycaemic index and glycaemic load.

For more information, see Measures of Weight and Nutrition.

Living with obesity

Living with obesityLiving with obesity can be very difficult not only for the obese person, but family and friends. Here we look at how to discuss obesity with a friend or loved one, bullying and obesity in children, the cost of obesity in the workplace and the links between obesity and pain, depression, sexuality and fertility.

For more information, see Living with Obesity.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndromeMetabolic syndrome is an alarmingly common health condition, occurring in 20–25% of the world’s population. In Australia, it is estimated that one in three people over the age of 25 years have the condition. Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when a number of metabolic abnormalities (including insulin resistance and obesity) occur at the same time in an individual.

For more information, see Metabolic Syndrome.

Weight loss tools

Obesity and weight loss treatments

Obesity treatmentsTraditional methods for weight loss include reducing calorie intake, increasing physical activity, and behaviour therapy. Recently, increasing levels of obesity and associated medical conditions has heightened interest in both pharmacological and surgical treatments for weight loss. In most cases you will be treated with a combination of therapies.

For more information, see An Introduction to Obesity Treatments.

Diets and healthy food choices

Cholesterol and nutritionMany consumers pick foods depending on the attraction and temptation of the item, but there are many things we should know to help us eat a nutritious and healthy diet. Consumers should also seek to know more about special diets, such as vegetarian diets, Mediterranean diets and liver cleansing diets, before choosing to follow them.

For more information, see Diets and Healthy Food Choices.

Lifestyle changes for obesity and weight loss

Lifestyle changesLifestyle changes remain the mainstay of treatment and are important for the long term maintenance of weight loss. All long term treatment programs require at least some lifestyle changes. Positive changes in your eating and exercise behaviour are essential for sustained reductions in weight.

For more information, see Lifestyle Changes for Obesity and Weight Loss.

Cognitive behavioural therapy for weight loss

Cognitive behavioural therapyCognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychological therapy used to treat many different problems, ranging from anxiety to weight loss. CBT is not used by itself to lose weight, but rather to support lifestyle changes. People who use both CBT and lifestyle changes lose more weight than those who only make lifestyle changes.

For more information, see Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Weight Loss.

Weight loss drugs

Weight loss drugsWeight loss drugs are designed to help people who are classified as obese lose weight. Weight loss drugs should only be used in those who are morbidly obese, have a BMI above 30 who have failed to lose weight with a lifestyle program, or have a BMI above 27 in whom risk factors are already present.

For more information, see Weight Loss Drugs.

Growth hormone for weight loss

Growth hormoneGrowth hormone (GH) is a hormone produced by the cells of the pituitary gland, a small gland found in the brain. Obese individuals are known to have low levels of GH. Growth hormone reduces obesity through its actions on two enzymes which control lipolysis and lipogenesis.

For more information, see Growth Hormone for Weight Loss.

Bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgerySurgery is often considered a last resort for patients with severe obesity with associated medical problems where other interventions have failed. Many surgical techniques have been used to treat obesity, changing in popularity over time and in different countries. The procedures differ in their abilities to produce weight loss and their side effects and risks.

For more information, see Bariatric Surgery.

Gastric banding

Gastric bandingGastric banding is an operation performed under general anaesthetic. An adjustable band is placed around the top of the stomach to create a small pouch to hold food. The band is attached via a thin tube to a small “port” or reservoir, which allows the surgeon to increase the tightness of the band at a later stage.

For more information, see Gastric Banding.


GastroplastyGastroplasty is available for the management of morbid obesity. It limits and reduces the amount of food intake possible, and is also known as ‘stomach stapling’. The upper part of the stomach is vertically stapled into a small pouch of 20–30 mL, which is then connected to the rest of the stomach through a small outlet.

For more information, see Gastroplasty.


LiposuctionLiposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure which involves the removal of excess body fat from under the skin from various parts of the body using a cannula and a suction device. The most common areas that are treated are the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, arms and neck.

For more information, see Liposuction.

More information

FitnessFor information on fitness and exercise, including stretches, types of exercise, exercise recovery and exercise with health conditions, as well as some useful videos, see Fitness.
NutritionFor information on nutrition, including information on types and composition of food, nutrition and people, conditions related to nutrition, and diets and recipes, as well as some useful videos and tools, see Nutrition.

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Posted On: 17 February, 2009
Modified On: 27 January, 2011


Created by: myVMC