Prof Dr Ehsan ur Rehman

Obesity throughout the world is spreading at a horrifying rate; it has virtually become a pandemic. 

At the moment about two third of population in world is somehow or the other affected by obesity, which is much alarming, as it may lead to many diseases, like diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, paralysis, cardiac diseases and sometimes even cancer. 

Obese people can’t move in society, happily because many of them lack self confidence. Obesity also interferes with their routine activities and so they become dependent on their families, society and governments. Research shows, the life expectancy of obese people to be 5 to 20 years less than, people of  age, with normal weight.

Obesity is usually associated with lack of physical activity. 

Many times several members of same family are found to be obese. Sometimes genetic and harmonal factors contribute to development of obesity. 

Its worth mentioning here that our life style also plays a vital role in making us obese. We by enlarge have left our traditional diet and adapted abundant use of such food, which leads rapidly to obesity, at the same time we don’t exercise, don’t walk, use vehicles even for small distances. 

This sedentary lifestyle has become the cause of rampant obesity. 

Obesity has now become the biggest health issue worldwide, second only to smoking.

Usually people start getting obese at age of 17 to 25, once get obese, it’s difficult to control and go back to normal. 

Exercise, crash, dieting and other efforts reduce weight by 5 to 8 %, the weight then becomes static over there for 2 to 3 years, and in many times it reverts to even much more than before. 

No effective drugs are available, if at all, these have, significant adverse effects. 

From last few decades, many surgical procedures have been adapted, for dealing with morbid obesity, aim of these different options is restriction or malabsorbtion, of diet, so that either patient is unable to take much food or food taken in is prevented from being absorbed. 

In very obese people both procedures are also sometimes combined. All these operations very effectively reduce the weight. 

In the beginning these operations were done by open  conventional surgery, but now all over the world, these operations are done by key hole surgery, that is laparoscopically. Although placement of balloons, and bypass surgery is being done, in many set ups, but during the last few years laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is practiced widely, all over the world, this has got virtually no side effects, and it’s results are marvellous. 

In this operation size of stomach is reduced. Patient has to stay in hospital for just a day or two, and patient starts getting significant benefits within three months. This operation is now also done by many surgeons in Pakistan. 

Now, among obese people, who are candidates for these surgical procedures can be calculated by a formula called Body Mass Index (BMI), which depends on weight and height of individual, BMI=WEIGHT (KG)/HEIGHT ( METER) SQUARE.

BMI=18-25, NORMAL

BMI=25-30, OVERWEIGHT

BMI=30-40,OBESE

BMI=MORE THAN 40, MORBID OBESE

In diabetic or hypertensive patients BMI more than 35, falls in category of morbid obesity.

So, if someone cannot control his weight by diet, exercise, change in life style, then to remain healthy one should always think of these better options in order to live in healthy manner and protect him/herself from so many diseases.