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How Do I Choose the Best Obesity Program?

By Emma Miller
Updated May 17, 2024
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Obesity is a medical condition, characterized by the accumulation of excess fat in proportion to a person’s height and gender. The condition can significantly impact quality of life as well as increase the likelihood of developing other health issues, such as Type II diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders. The best obesity program should be multi-disciplinary and take into consideration any related medical, nutritional, lifestyle, social, and psychological factors.

In developed countries, obesity is an epidemic for children and adults alike. One of the top causes of morbidity and mortality, obesity is a medical condition in which people have an excess of fat in their body that is disproportionate to their sex and height. Several co-morbid disorders have been linked to obesity and these include high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, arthritis, and gallstones.

A complex disorder, obesity may have a number of causes. Endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, may have a serious impact on an individual’s weight by altering their metabolism and disrupting normal hormonal function. A thorough physiological examination should be part of an obesity program. This may help exclude co-morbid disorders or diseases that can predispose a person to obesity. If such disorders are found, the correct treatment may be a valuable tool in an obesity program.

There is a direct link between obesity and a person’s diet and lifestyle. Risk factors for excess weight include a sedentary lifestyle, a high number of hours spent watching television, and overeating. The relationship between obesity and lifestyle factors is dynamic, as little or no physical activity may arise as a result of the disorder, but may also predispose a person to weight gain.

In nearly all cases, significant lifestyle changes need to be implemented as part of an obesity program. To promote weight loss, it may be necessary to engage in regular, low-impact physical activity such as walking or swimming. The duration, frequency, and intensity of one’s exercise program may be determined in accordance with their specific weight-loss goals and medical needs. Nutritional education is an important part of a good obesity program. An understanding of the body’s nutritional requirements and of the calorie content of foods can become a useful tool for weight loss. Awareness of proper portion sizes and of dietary choices that are nutrient-dense and have a lower caloric load is also key.

A number of mental disorders, such as binge eating or compulsive overeating, can increase one’s risk of becoming obese. In some cases, obese individuals may have a co-morbid psychiatric disorder, like depression, or suffer from emotional or self-esteem issues. These may worsen behaviors like overeating and hamper weight loss. Psychological evaluation and support are essential components of an obesity program. A degree of understanding and encouragement from a person’s family and social circle can also be helpful for weight loss and the long-term maintenance of a healthy weight.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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