As defined by the World Health Organization, being obese is abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A crude measure of obesity currently used is the body mass index (BMI), which is a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in meters). A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is overweight, while a person with a BMI of 30 or more is obese, although you should consider your waist circumference too. To calculate where you fall on the weight spectrum, click here.
At our clinics in Dubai we have different levels of intervention to help anyone from the moderately overweight to those whose obesity is severely impacting on their health and quality of life. Our techniques range from simple diet and activity tweaks, in-depth plans or behavioral counselling, to non-surgical endoscopic methods such as a gastric balloon and, as a last resort, bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.
Obesity in the UAE
Obesity is an important public health issue. Raised BMI is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as:
- Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which are the leading cause of death globally
- Musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints)
- Some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon)
Childhood obesity is associated with a higher incidence of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. In addition to increased future risks, obese children experience breathing difficulties, increased risk of fractures, hypertension, early markers of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.
In 2016 WHO reported these alarming figures:
UAE – 17.3% children and adolescents aged 5 – 19 years and 31.7% of adults are obese
UAE – 35.8% children and adolescents aged 5 – 19 years 67.8% of adults are overweight
Reducing obesity is a priority for the UAE, as shown in several initiatives in the past couple of years. Examples include targeting schools via “DHA – School Health Policy”, and Dubai Municipality’s initiative “Your weight in Gold”.
The Benefits of Losing Weight
Our role as health professionals and as a weight management clinic in Dubai is to reinforce the UAE’s health initiatives and to offer the best advice and care plans available.
There are plenty of health benefits to losing even a small amount of weight, particularly when you maintain that weight loss.
Losing just 5% of your body weight can mean:
- Reduced long-term risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels
- Improved mood
- Reduced pain levels – losing weight eases the pressure on your joints and muscles. Also, your muscles will be more flexible and better
- Able to support you as you become fitter and your posture improves
- The ability to do the things you want to do more easily – as your fitness and stamina improves, you’ll be able to do everyday tasks more easily
- Improved relationships – feeling better about yourself encourages you to feel more confident in your relationships, and losing weight makes it easier for you take part in social activities and sports
- Better quality of sleep ̶ losing weight reduces uncomfortable physical symptoms such as snoring, sleep apnea, pain and sweating, thus helping you enjoy a better night’s rest.