This blog is written by our clinicians and aims to keep patients informed with up to date information on medical conditions.
Healthy weight loss is not just about dieting or special dieting programs. It is about changing your lifestyle and including long-term changes in your daily eating and exercise habits. But what is considered a real goal of weight loss? Obesity comes with multiple health complications and by reducing excess body fat, people are able to improve their health significantly. This article will discuss weight loss and wellness for both patients and doctors alike. Additionally, it will look into doctors that are overweight and if their advice can be taken credibly.
Ideal body size or ideal health?
Today’s culture promotes an idea of certain body size and states that it is the ideal healthy stature. However, in the healthcare, medical professionals focus more on achieving health improvements as there are many variations of healthy body size and none of these should be discriminated against others. Research also shows that varying amounts of weight loss can improve varying areas of problems associated with obesity, so losing a few kilograms can improve one condition but may not improve another.
Excess ectopic and visceral body fat and mechanical burden of the fat are the main forces that drive the disease. A disproportional reduction in body fat has been shown in people who are losing weight, as an example with a 5% weight loss, the visceral fat is decreased by 9%, with 16% weight loss, the visceral fat is decreased by 30%. Additionally, when someone loses 16% of their body weight, the liver fat is reduced by 65%.
Obesity can be associated with certain conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular problems. In regards to diabetes, a close relationship has been found between weight loss and insulin sensitivity. If a patient loses 5% of their body weight, their insulin sensitivity in liver and adipose tissue is improved. A progression to type 2 diabetes can also be eliminated if patients who have Impaired glucose tolerance are able to lose 10% of their body weight. Blood pressure can also be controlled by weight loss. It takes only 5% weight loss to have lower results in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, together with better HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, 10% weight loss can improve conditions like obstructive sleep apnoea, gastroesophageal reflux, urinary stress incontinence, sexual function as well as musculoskeletal problems like knee pain.
Research has shown that thinking about weight loss in percentage lost rather than kilograms is more sensible. In a large study of lifestyle intervention, scientists have proven that people with higher BMI lose approximately same percentage of their body weight as people who have lesser BMI. Yes, people who have a higher BMI do lose more weight overall, but week by week they lose similar percentages of their body weight as people who have lesser BMI. Additionally, weight loss journey should be associated with realistic goals that are set at 3, 6 and 12 month intervals by your medical provider.
In the past, people have focused primarily on losing weight quickly and the easiest way possible. In today’s health-centred culture, it is more important to look at weight loss and how it leads to a person’s wellness. By losing the additional weight, person can promote various health benefits like lower cholesterol, blood sugar, less stress on bones and joints and less work on the heart. The goal of weight loss and wellness is to overall maintain healthy body weight so the health benefits are obtained over lifetime.
Are overweight doctors respected by patients?
MD Kevin Gendreau, is a doctor in the USA, that specialises in endocrinology and obesity. He himself, was once overweight and managed to lose significant amount of weight and still maintains a healthy lifestyle. He says that people come to him as he shares weight loss struggles with his patients and his words and results are very encouraging. He explains that it is very important for patients to know that healthcare providers go through the same struggles as their patients. It has been shown that patients are more likely to make behavioural changes when their healthcare providers are supportive and have experienced similar challenges.
Sometimes, doctors can have biased attitudes towards patients with significant weight, but research has investigated how people perceive overweight doctors. A random online survey has shown that regardless of their own weight, the wider public has biases about overweight doctors. They perceive them as less trustworthy and credible. People usually trust less if a healthcare providers are contradicting their own messages. The American Medical Association Code of Ethics advises that it is an ethical duty for medical providers to maintain their own health and wellness so they are able to provide safe and effective medical care to their patients. Doctors should be encouraging healthy lifestyles not just to their patients but also amongst themselves.
To conclude, weight loss journeys are not easy but with the help of your medical provider and reachable goals it can be achieved. Weight loss should not be seen as a temporary action, but should be perceived as a lifestyle that will aid your wellness and result in fewer health complications.
If you wish to discuss your weight loss journey with one of our GPs, please do not hesitate to contact one of our lovely receptionists on 01224 515 254. We at ROC take pride in providing integrated care through our team of highly skilled family physicians and we welcome every individual to our clinic for a personalised assessment.