Understanding Obesity

Obesity is a growing chronic condition which impacted 26% (7.3 million people) of Canadians over the age of 18 were classified as obese and 36% (9.9 million people) were considered overweight in 2018. It can be caused by various factors and is treatable through different methods.

Firstly, to understand if you are classified as having a healthy weight, overweight or obese, it is determined through your Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI takes into consideration of your weight in relation to your height. To be considered in a health range, one’s BMI is to be between 18.5-24.9, for overweight between 25.0-29.9 and to be classified as obese above 30.0. It is important to remember this is part of the diagnosis and one cannot fully rely on this calculation as it is required to consult with a healthcare provider.

To calculate, your BMI, you can do so in the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html

There are different reasons to what can lead up to obesity. Hence, to obtain a thorough understanding, you can talk to your healthcare provider regarding your daily habits, medical/family history to help find the best treatment to support you. Obesity can be a complicated disease which can have more than one cause to it. Here are some facts to keep in consideration:

Psychological factors

  • Managing one’s weight can be difficult if you fell stressed out. By understanding the cause of the stress or issue, it will help to work out the concern

Energy In/Energy Out

  • Consuming too many calories and not burning sufficient amount of calories can result in weight gain
  • Long commutes or having desk jobs can make it challenge to be physically active

Sleep deprivation

  • Poor sleep quality or sleep loss can have an impact on one’s neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism that can have an impact of decreased insulin sensitivity. You can visit our pharmacy to learn more as our pharmacist are specialized to assist in regulating in glucose

Appetite Signals/Hormones

  • Our body utilizes hormones to help signal our body when we feel hungry or full. Sometimes these hormones may not work correctly, which can lead us to overeat
  • Contrave is an example of a medication that is used that focuses on the hunger and reward center of the brain. This medication is more on the costly side, however it contains bupropion and naltrexone to reduce feelings of hunger and ensure satiation. However, there are some side effects which include increased heart rate, allergic reactions and increased lower blood pressure.

There are different treatment methods that can be looked at that may help one with losing weight. Some include:

Lifestyle modifications:

  • Try to choose healthier alternatives, keep a food journal, get a full night sleep, take walks

Physical activity modifications

  • Physical activity is a way to help burn calories
  • When planning out physical activity, try to keep it simple and realistic

Nutrition modifications

  • Changing our habits can be difficult. We are surrounded by convenience food that can be highly processed. Learning to know which foods to choose can help to pick a healthy diet

Prescribed medication

  • Saxenda (liraglutide) is an injectable medication used to control blood sugar, insulin and digestion in the body. Saxenda is an injectable prescribed medication that may help individuals who are overweight or obese to lose some weight or to maintain weight in a certain range. In addition, Saxenda is not used for weight-loss or appetite suppressant medication and ns not used for treating type 1 or 2 diabetes. Saxenda is used together with exercise and diet to obtain the best results. However, it has some side effects which include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue and more.

For more information regarding obesity and how it can impact our body, please visit the following websites to learn more or contact our pharmacist team at Guildview Pharmacy.


Written by: Shenen Sivakumar

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