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Dr. Raz answers your most popular questions about obesity.
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Body mass index (BMI) is the objective criterion for measuring excessive weight. BMI below 18.5 is considered too low, between 18 and 24.9 it indicates normal / healthy weight, between 25 and 29.9 it indicates being overweight, and BMI over 30 is a sign of obesity.
Obesity today is in fact considered a disease. In the past, the prevailing opinion was that obesity was only a behavioral matter. However, over the years obesity has been recognized as a disease and even an epidemic of the modern world. That’s also how it’s being regarded by most health organizations in the Western World. According to many opinions, it is a problem that is actually largely genetic, and it’s difficult to treat genetics without medication. That is one of the reasons that most diets don’t work. According to research, between 65 and 95 percent of those who lose weight gain it back. It is true that the range of numbers is wide, but the trend is clear: the majority of people are unable to maintain low weight for long and go back to their old eating habits. The more the obesity phenomenon increases, the higher the chances it will continue into future generations.
Yes, the problem is becoming more serious every year all over the world and in Israel as well. More than 50% of the adult population in Israel suffers from overweight and obesity. According to a study published by the Ministry of Health in 2013, one of every three elementary school students is overweight. The rate of obese children has increased by over 50 percent in the last few decades, and other studies show that an overweight child has a high probability of being obese as an adult as well.
Contrary to common belief, obesity is not only a behavioral problem of overeating and momentary cravings for various foods. Many factors form its main causes, such as genetic tendency, the habits of the modern occupational world that leaves a person with very little free time, lack of exercise, and the consumption of industrialized food that is rich in fat. Therefore, even those who have persisted with their dietary changes and have lost many kilograms of weight are expected in most cases to gain it back and rejoin the obese.
Today there are a number of effective medications for treating obesity that work by balancing the mechanisms responsible for the satiation zones in the brain as well as working on the stomach. There are drugs that work on the hunger and satiation mechanism in the brain, while others work by breaking up the fat obtained from food in the stomach. The treatment reduces the need to eat between meals, increases the sense of satiation, and encourages the patients to maintain a healthier life style and to keep their new figures for long periods of time.
As with any medication, side effects are individual to each patient. Some patients will not experience any side effects at all, while others will feel mild side effects in the beginning. Don’t worry. These side effects disappear as the body adjusts to the medication, and that’s where the extremely important factor of medical support and supervision comes in, to monitor, treat and even prevent side effects in real time.
The medication treatment is designed for people who are 16 years old or older, with a BMI (height to weight ratio) of 27+ if there is a minimum of one risk factor (hypertension, fats in the blood, pre-diabetes or diabetes) or of 30+ with no risk factors.
Each person has their own speed of losing weight. The speed of weight loss varies person to person, and depends among other factors on metabolism, changing one’s dietary habits and adopting a healthy lifestyle. The treatment program at our Medical Center has the purpose of maximizing the speed of weight loss so that it will require a minimum amount of time.
The treatment program’s duration varies person to person and depends on their medical and personal needs. After consulting with our doctor, the patient – along with the doctor and our team – can create a customized program that will require a varying number of months.