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Overweight and Obesity: Myth Buster

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Obesity is a chronic condition that is related to more than 50 different chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and even cancer.  It is caused by many factors and is both treatable and manageable.

This booklet will highlight some common obesity myths.

1. I Am Obese and This Is All My Fault.  MYTH!

Research has shown that people with obesity have genes that make them more likely to gain weight. That is why two people can have a similar diet and lifestyle yet have very different weights!

Our genes affect how we use food as energy in our body and whether we feel hungry or full.  A person that has a higher risk of having obesity will put on weight more easily when they have a less healthy diet or inactive lifestyle.

2. I Cannot Lose Any Weight Because I Am Weak-Willed.  MYTH!

Our body will always try to maintain its body weight. This is the body's natural response to any weight loss.

When a person loses as little as 5% of their body weight, the body will attempt to gain back the lost weight through a few processes.  Firstly, one's metabolism rate will slow down to conserve energy.  Secondly, hunger hormone (Ghrelin) levels will be higher, causing an increase in hunger levels. These two reasons will result in a person putting on the lost weight.

3. The Faster I Lose Weight, The Faster I Will Regain My Weight.  MYTH!

Research has shown that this is not true. Regardless of the rate of weight loss initially, the body will attempt to put on the lost weight at the same rate. 

4. Everyone In My Family Is Obese. There Is Nothing I Can Do About It.  MYTH!

It is true that people who are carry "obesity genes" can pass them to the next generation. However, eating healthily and exercising adequately can lead to changes in these genes and reduce the risk of obesity in the next generation.

There is evidence that a mother's diet before and during pregnancy can affect the obesity risk of the child.  Mothers who become pregnant after they undergo healthy weight loss tend to have children of healthier weight.  A father's diet has also been linked to the risk of diabetes and obesity in the child.

A healthier diet and lifestyle in both parents can reduce obesity risk of their next generation.

5. I Should Use "Natural" Methods To Lose Weight.  Medications Are Bad.  MYTH!

Just like hypertension and diabetes, obesity is a chronic medical condition that requires medication, especially when diet and lifestyle changes are unable to result in significant weight loss.

Obesity medication should only be prescribed and managed by doctors. You may take these medication together with your diet and lifestyle changes.

6. Bariatric (Weight Loss) Surgery Is Very Risky.  MYTH! 

For people with obesity, weight loss surgery may be recommended to help you.

Before surgery, you will be assessed on whether you are suitable for general anaesthesia by your Doctor, Surgeon and Anaesthetist. 

Weight loss surgery is performed using the "key-hole" method. Patients who undergo the surgery are usually discharged three days after surgery.


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