About Obesity
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally and is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Traditionally slim Asians have not been spared: recent reports show rapid upswings in the prevalence of obesity in Asian countries. In a 2010 report, the Singapore Health Promotion Board revealed that obesity in Singapore had increased from 6.9% in 2004 to 10.8%.
Obesity is a disease where excessive accumulation of body fat takes a toll on the human body. The problem is not one of aesthetics or appearance. Obesity significantly increases the risk of many life-threatening medical conditions. These include:
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol
  • cardiac disease
  • stroke
  • respiratory problems
  • obstructive sleep apnoea
  • gallbladder disease
  • joint pains or osteoarthritis
  • many forms of cancer including breast, endometrial, ovarian, oesophageal and colorectal cancer.
Studies show that individuals struggling with obesity have an increased risk of an early death – in other words, obesity and excess poundage can knock years off your life.
On the other hand, losing just 5 – 10% of their weight results in remarkable improvements in health for overweight and obese patients. Those who are able to maintain weight loss experience improved blood pressure and sugar control and often require less medication. Joint pains frequently resolve when patients carry less weight and they begin to notice functional improvement in daily activities like walking, running and climbing stairs. Many patients also report psychosocial benefit in terms of improved self-esteem and emotional health.
However as millions of ‘yo-yo’ dieters will attest, losing weight and then maintaining that weight loss is far from easy. For the severely obese, achieving significant and sustained weight loss becomes particularly challenging.