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Obesity

​​​​Obesity

Obesity is defined as having an excess accumulation of fat that might have a negative effect on the health. Obese people are at a greater risk of developing more than 48 chronic conditions that compromise their general health.

Prevalence:

Obesity is widely spread in many countries specifically in the Gulf region. The Kingdom comes third after United States and Kuwait regarding the number of obese persons.  

In the Kingdom, the estimated death rate due to obesity or its complications is approximately 20,000 deaths per year which is equivalent to 55 deaths per day and 2 deaths every hour. The World Health Organization reported that 70% of men and 75% of women are overweight or obese.

Complications:

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) 
Obesity leads to an increase in the blood pressure above the normal range. Increase in weight and eventually increase in the amount of fatty tissue cause an increase in demand for oxygen and nutrients, leading to an increased circulation and hypertension.


Diabetes:

One of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes is obesity. In the Kingdom, the percentage of patients with type 2 diabetes as a result of obesity reaches 80%.

Gallbladder Stones:

Obese people are at increased risk of developing gall stones due to the increased level of cholesterol as a result of their altered lipid content.

Fatty Liver Disease

Obese people have excess fat in their bodies which accumulate in the liver. These fatty accumulations lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver – a condition called cirrhosis of the liver. Studies show that 15% of obese people have liver diseases. Reducing body weight has a direct positive effect on the functioning of the liver. 


Cancer

Obesity increases the risk of getting cancer especially cancers of the colon, liver, breast, and kidney. Studies show that 8 – 42 % of cancer cases are usually accompanied with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 21Kg/m2.

Obesity and Pregnancy

Obesity is associated with the development of gestational diabetes and other pregnancy related problems including an increase in the risk of birth defects.

Management:

Your effort to overcome obesity is more likely to be successful if you comply with certain practices such as:

Follow a weight-loss program as prescribed by your dietitian.

Engage in daily moderate physical activity for 1 hour.

Consult your doctor to accurately assess your condition and develop a formal treatment plan to follow. 



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