The importance of maintaining a healthy weight is a topic that receives plenty of attention.
Being physically active and enjoying foods that are good for our bodies are the subject of much discussion.
And the benefits of exercise are said to be many - both for physical and mental health.
When it comes to what we eat, concepts such as ensuring snacks are healthy (for example veggie sticks and hummus instead of reaching for a bag of lollies) as well as not being lounge lizards all day are well promoted.
Drinking plenty of water is also advised as well as incorporating simple ways of keeping active into our daily life such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, enjoying an afternoon at the playground with the kids or just taking a short afternoon walk.
Keeping our overall health and wellbeing in check has also been associated with being important as we grow older as well as lowering our risk factors of health complications and diseases.
And yet according to national statistics, the prevalence of those who are overweight or obese is of major concern.
Dr Adam Cichowitz, from North Eastern Surgery in Wangaratta, says two thirds of the Australian population are overweight or obese.
He said BMI was a measure of obesity based on a person’s height and weight.
“Moderate obesity (BMI 30 to 35) reduces a person’s life expectancy by three years,” he said.
“Morbid obesity (BMI 40 to 50) reduces life expectancy by about 10 years, which is similar to the effect of lifelong smoking.
“A healthy lifestyle is very important to having a healthy weight but some people are fighting a losing battle against their own genetics and this is when weight loss surgery can help.
“Surgery is becoming much more common because it is the only proven treatment that achieves long-term, sustained weight loss.”
Dr Cichowitz said being overweight could affect a person both physically and mentally, with higher rates of depression and other psychological disorders.
“Medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain and sleep apnoea can drastically improve or even be cured with weight loss surgery,” he said.
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