Learn how to tackle obesity in Dubai from the experts at Mediclinic Welcare Hospital
18 October 2018| Last updated on 5 August 2019
Obesity is a preventable and treatable epidemic associated with detrimental complications that have led to great strain in the healthcare systems worldwide.
Obesity is directly linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, liver disease and even cancer. According to a recent report published in February 2018 by the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity has nearly tripled worldwide since 1975. In 2016, 39% of adults aged 18 years and older were overweight, and 13% were obese.
Overweight and obesity are defined as excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple indicator of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults.
It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters (kg/m2). An adult is overweight if his/her BMI falls between 25-30. If the BMI equals or exceeds 30, the person is considered to be obese.
Treatment options for obesity include surgical and non-surgical methods.
The non-surgical treatment aims at reducing energy intake, increasing physical activity, and sometimes medications.
Surgery provides the most effective therapeutic choice for obesity. The most commonly used surgical techniques are Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Regardless of its proven effectiveness, only 1% of obese patients choose a surgical option.
The major issues with surgery are difficult accessibility, high costs, invasiveness, and associated morbidity and mortality. The intragastric balloon system works by placing an inflatable medical device into the stomach to limit food consumption and make a person feel fuller faster.
Intragastric balloons are available for moderately overweight patients who do not want to undergo a surgical procedure for weight loss. It has been shown to enhance weight loss by four times if combined with an appropriate diet and exercise program.
In general terms, people are eligible for intragastric balloons if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 27-40 with or without comorbidities, or a BMI of over 40 and are not interested in surgery. Moreover, intragastric balloons are recommended for those who fail to shed extra pounds through diet and exercise.
The contraindications to the intragastric balloon system include previous weight loss surgery, any inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, large hiatal hernia, structural abnormality in the larynx or oesophagus, any condition that would hinder endoscopy, drug or alcohol addiction, pregnancy or breastfeeding and regular use of blood thinners.
In general, patients who are eligible for intragastric balloons are expected to lose about 10-20 kilograms over a period of six months. However, like any other weight management programme, commitment is everything. Consult your physician for your best weight loss options.