There are many causes of obesity.
Your appropriate weight loss options are unique to you.
UNDERSTANDING OBESITY TREATMENT
Obesity management, like the disease itself, is complex and challenging.1 Managing it successfully for the long term is not as simple as reducing energy intake and increasing energy expended.3
Despite your best efforts, your body senses weight loss and actively works to return you to your starting weight.1 Your body does this in two ways. First, the amount of energy your body uses (when resting or exercising) becomes less than would be expected, based on your weight and body composition.1,2,4-6 This change persists for years, even if you regain the weight you have lost.4 Secondly, changes to the hormones which control your hunger and fullness work to push your weight back up.1,4-6
Weight loss has substantial health benefits for people with obesity, such as reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease and reducing the risk of death from any causes.6,9
CALCULATE YOUR BODY MASS INDEX (BMI)
Body mass index, or BMI, is a calculation based on your height and weight to place you in a weight category: underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.1,2,3
BMI can be a useful starting measure to identify your weight classification and risk of comorbidities.
BMI is not relevant if you are under 18 years or pregnant.
BMI is a very general measure that places you in 1 of 6 broad weight categories – underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese.11
At my BMI, the Australian Obesity Guidelines(9) recommend my target weight loss should be:
Australian guidelines outlines recommendations for percentage weight loss for a range of BMI’s9
- For BMI less than 30, Australian guidelines does not have a recommendation for target weight loss.9
- For BMI 30-40, the recommended target weight loss is greater than 10% of your body weight.9
- For BMI greater than 40, the target weight loss is greater than 15% of your body weight.9
DID YOU KNOW?
Despite your best efforts, your body senses weight loss and
actively works to return you to your starting weight.
- The amount of energy your body uses (when resting or exercising) becomes less than would be expected, based on your weight and body composition.1,2,4-6 This change persists for years, even if you regain the weight you have lost.4
- Changes to the hormones which control your hunger and fullness work to push your weight back up.1,4-5
- Because obesity is a disease with many different causes and it increases your risk of developing other medical conditions, it makes sense to seek help from your doctor.2,7,8
- Your doctor can assess a wide range of things that may be influencing your health. Together you can then decide on the best approach for you to lose weight and improve your health.2,11
- Weight loss has substantial health benefits for people with obesity, such as reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease and reducing the risk of death from any cause.6,9
- Sumithran P and Proietto J. The defence of body weight: a physiological basis for weight regain after weight loss. Clin Sci 2103; 124: 231–41.
- RACGP. Obesity prevention and management position statement 2019. Available at https://www.racgp.org.au/FSDEDEV/media/documents/RACGP/Position%20statements/Obesity-prevention-and-management.pdf, accessed September 2019.
- RACP. Action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course – Evidence Review. 2018. Available at https://www.racp.edu.au/docs/default-source/advocacy-library/racp-obesity-position-statement.pdf. Accessed December 2019
- Fothergill E, et al. Persistent Metabolic Adaptation 6 Years After “The Biggest Loser” Competition. Obesity 2016; 24(8): 1612–19.
- Dhurandhar N. Stop the patient blame game: what actually causes obesity. Available at https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/909500, accessed Sept 2019.
- Bray G, et al. The Science of Obesity Management: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. Obesity Rev. 2018; 39; 79-132
- Bray G, et al. Obesity: a chronic relapsing progressive disease process. A position statement of the World Obesity Federation Obesity Rev 2017; 18(7); 715–23.
- Caterson I, et al. Gaps to bridge: Misalignment between perception, reality and actions in obesity, Diabetes Obes Metab 2019; 21(8): 1914–24.
- ANZOS and ADS. 2019. The Australian Obesity Management Algorithm. Available at: http://anzos.com/assets/Obesity-Management-Algorithm-18.10.2016.pdf. Accessed September 2019.
- Garvey T et al. AACE/ACE Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines. Endocr Pract. 2016;22(Suppl 3). p1-203.
- RACGP Smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity (SNAP): A population health guide to behavioural risk factors in general practice, 2nd edition. Melbourne: Available at https://www.racgp.org.au/FSDEDEV/media/documents/Clinical%20Resources/Guidelines/SNAP-guideline.pdf. Accessed December 2019.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Overweight and obesity: an interactive insight. Cat. no. PHE 251. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 20 December 2019, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/overweight-obesity/overweight-and-obesity-an-interactive-insight
- Pilitsi E, et al. Pharmacotherapy of obesity: Available medications and drugs under investigation. Metab Clin Exp 2019; 92: 170–92.
- NH&MRC (2013) Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. Available at https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/clinical-practice-guidelines-management-overweight-and-obesity#block-views-block-file-attachments-content-block-1, Accessed September 2019.
- Lee PC, Dixon J. Pharmacotherapy for obesity.Aust Fam Phys. 2017; 46(7): 472–7.