Body shaming, the act of criticizing one’s appearance, is everywhere. One of its manifestations is criticizing a person’s size and weight. As a result, people equate being “fat” and being “obese” as one and the same. The reality is that there is more to obesity than meets the eye. It’s a chronic disease that needs medical attention and support.
In the Philippines, the obesity prevalence rate is at 37.2%, or 1 out of 3 Filipinos are at risk or already obese. Southeast Asian countries share a high and increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in their populations. More than 30 million people with obesity live in the region. Obesity rates have increased alarmingly in the past 10-15 years, according to the World Health Organization. There are approximately 6.6 million obese young children under 5 and 1 in 5 overweight adults.
The disease of obesity increases the risk of comorbidities and doubles the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19, yet people with obesity are stigmatized at work, at home, and in the health care system.
“Obesity negatively impacts every aspect of health, including reproductive and respiratory functions. As a result, there is a higher chance of developing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers,” explained Dr. Mia Fojas, Endocrinologist, ManilaMed & immediate past president, PASOO. “Obesity negatively impacts an individual’s quality of life and increases the cost of healthcare locally, nationally, and worldwide.”
But there is good news. Learning proper weight management and seeking the help of your doctor will help with managing obesity and improving overall health.
Learn proper weight management
People who are living with obesity readily jump into various diets and weight loss programs only to find that these are not enough. According to Dr. Fojas there are two common reasons why a weight loss program fails: Hunger increases when trying to lose weight and Weight regain follows after an intervention is stopped.
Instead of doing weight loss programs on your own, you need to fully understand your condition, medical history, eating habits, activity level, and previous weight loss attempts. Then, you need to know your body mass index, undergo a physical exam, and get a blood test to learn more about your body and act accordingly.
Seek your doctor’s help
You and your doctor will discuss how you can lose weight. Your doctor will review any medicines you are taking to determine if they are contributing to weight gain. They will also rule out other causes of obesity that might be treatable, such as thyroid disease.
If you are not able to achieve the best weight for you through diet and exercise alone, your doctor may talk to you about medical treatment options to help lose weight. There are several – options available..
Make obesity a healthcare priority
This World Obesity Day, Novo Nordisk supports the need to provide people with the right information about obesity and connect them to a network of clinics with doctors to help them find the support they need.
Driving Change in Obesity is Novo Nordisk’s long-term commitment to improve the lives of people with obesity and change how the world sees, prevents, and treats obesity. As part of this, the company works to build healthier environments; fosters empathy for people with obesity and champion for obesity to become a healthcare priority, and ensures people living with obesity have access to evidence-based care.
“Obesity is everybody’s problem. Everybody needs to act. The obesity prevalence rate is alarming, and we need to manage it,” said Dr. Miroslava Guajardo, M.D., Senior Medical Manager, NovoNordisk, Business Area South East Asia. “Novo Nordisk is launching the first- ever website dedicated to obesity in the Philippines. Through the Body of Truth, we are empowering patients to make better and wiser choices for their health by providing access to evidence-based information, reliable and accurate resources, and a network of clinics with doctors.”
Novo Nordisk remains committed to providing better treatment options and the latest innovations on obesity treatment. For more information about obesity and how to manage the disease, visit the Body of Truth.