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#4 Surely anyone can lose weight if they really want to. Aren’t overweight people just lacking in will power? JF: Many people seem to have little sympathy for people whose weight we perceive is a direct result of their indulgence, but research tells us that obesity is a mental illness and the reality is that compassion is called for when regarding the emotional and physical issues that are a way of life for overweight adults and children. Feelings of shame, rejection, low self-esteem and depression are common in obese adults. Despite its prevalence, being overweight still carries a social stigma leading to anxiety about leaving the house and a deep desperate loneliness. Activities we take for granted – going to the movies, public transport, and holiday travel - are often impossible for overweight people because of small seats and unsuitable accommodation. In work situations overweight people are generally labelled as being sloppy, lazy, devoid of self-discipline and morally weak with studies showing that more often than not overweight people are discriminated against when it comes to advancement despite their job competency. It is a vicious circle. Many people turn to food for comfort. This stress-based eating leads to weight-gain which in turn makes people feel bad about themselves which of course leads to more eating. Studies show that the vast majority of obese people may have short term success with dieting however fail to have long term effective reduction in weight. In these patients surgical weight-loss has been shown to have a much more dramatic effect than conservative measures and drastically improve the quality of life.

How do I know if I am overweight? JF: The best way to measure your weight is through the Body Mass Index (BMI), a weight for height measure most commonly used to test for healthy weight range. It is defined by a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in metres. A BMI of 25 or greater is regarded as overweight and a BMI of 30 or over equals obesity. This test is a guide rather than an absolute as it does not take in the amount of actual fat in the body. There are plenty of online BMI calculators, or if you have a head for numbers, the formula is: Your weight in kilograms ÷ (your height in metres x your height in metres) = BMI. For example, 60 kilograms ÷ (1.65 metres x 1.65 metres) = 22.03.

#5 Does weight-loss surgery actually curb your appetite or just make your stomach smaller? JF: Both. Most people are aware that weight-loss surgery will remove a large part of the stomach – usually at least 80 percent. The portion of the stomach that is left, serves as the patient’s new stomach. Obviously it is much smaller in size, and therefore takes much less food to fill, and as a result fewer calories are consumed, and weight-loss results. But that is not the whole story. The other benefit of weight-loss surgeries are that in removing a portion of the stomach, we are also removing the part of the stomach that produces Ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite. Removing this has a significant impact on a person’s appetite, reducing it considerably. This is a very important point for many patients whose struggle has traditionally been to keep their appetite at bay. Dr Jason Free is at Surgery Gold Coast. Phone 07 5564 6501 or go to 27

Slim magazine online version 2015  

Elle Macpherson is our stunning cover girl. Slim Magazine is designed for everyone who wants to reach or maintain a healthy body weight. Thi...

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