The National Obesity Treatment Center at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) sees between 800 and 900 patients each month according to an official.
“Obese patients should consult with their doctor before beginning a weight-loss journey. A BMI (Body Mass Index) equal to or greater than 30 is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases,” said Dr Marwa Gomaa Hussein Mokhtar, a consultant at Qatar Metabolic Institute, HMC.
World Obesity Day is observed globally on October 11 to promote practical solutions to end the global obesity crisis.
“ Once an individual understands what factors are contributing to weight gain, a healthcare professional can help them set appropriate weight loss goals. This year we’ve seen approximately 6,000 patients at the National Obesity Treatment Center,” noted Dr Mokhtar.
Dr Mokhtar says for some individuals, weight loss is essential to avoid or manage chronic diseases and conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis. She says the longer a person is obese, the more significant obesity-related risk factors become.
“The causes of obesity are complex. There may be many interrelated factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, diet, underlying health conditions, and how an individual’s body uses energy,” said Dr Mokhtar.
According to Dr Mokhtar, understanding and making lifestyle changes isn’t always easy but she says it is the key to long-term weight loss. She says in general, the greater the degree of weight loss achieved, the greater the health benefits.
“All of our weight loss programs emphasise lifestyle modifications, specifically adjustments to the type and quantity of food consumed and the incorporation of physical activity. Lifestyle changes are the mainstay of weight loss treatment and are important for the long-term maintenance of weight loss,” said Dr Mokhtar.
Reem al-Saadi, director of Dietetics and Nutrition at HMC said that dietary changes are an essential part of the weight loss equation.
“Making healthier choices when selecting meals and beverages is a simple way to effectively increase weight loss. Soda, juice, and energy drinks are often loaded with sugar and extra calories and can contribute to weight gain over time,” said al-Saadi.
“All packaged foods have nutrition labels but many people do not know how to read them. It can be confusing because food labels can display nutrition claims that are misleading. Knowing how to read food labels is especially important for those who have health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol,” observed al-Saadi.
The serving size and number of servings per package section of a nutrition label show how many servings are in the package and how big a serving is, which is generally listed as 'cups' or 'pieces'. In addition to listing the energy within a serving size, the nutrition label also contains information on protein, total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, sodium, and fiber.
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