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Overweight and Obesity: Overview


What Is Obesity?

Obesity is a medical condition due to excess of body fat. It is caused by both genetic and environmental factors.
In Singapore, about 30% of adults are overweight (BMI above 23 kg/m2).

How Do I Know If I Have Obesity?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is commonly used to estimate body fat.
Waist circumference can also be measured to determine abdominal obesity.
In the Endocrinology clinic, we also assess body fat using a machine that measures body composition.


The table below describes the BMI categories for Asians:

Overweight-and-Obesity-Overview 2.PNG

The table below describes the waist circumference cut-offs used to determine abdominal obesity in Asians:

Overweight-and-Obesity-Overview 3.PNG

My Doctor Has Advised Me to Lose Weight. How Much Weight Should I Lose?

You may target to lose between 0.5kg to 1.5kg per week. Depending on the method of weight loss you choose and your initial body weight, how fast you lose weight may be different.
It is recommended to lose at least 5% of your body weight for health benefits. To see improvement in conditions such as fatty liver, sleep apnea or joint problems, you may need to lose at least 10% of your body weight.

My BMI is 32kg/m2. I Am Still Very Healthy. Why Should I Worry About My Weight?

Obesity may lead to different medical conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Fatty liver
  • Joint problems      
  • Sleep apnea

Excess body fat may also cause a higher risk of certain cancers such as breast, colon, liver and pancreas.

I Want To Try To Lose Some Weight. Should I Focus on Diet or Exercise?

Obesity is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. As such, you may need to use various methods to successfully lose weight. Most people know they need to manage their diet and lifestyle, but other aspects such as having regular meals, good quality sleep, managing stress levels and practising mindfulness are also important.

How Do I Start My Weight Loss Journey?

In the Endocrinology clinic, the weight management team is committed to help you in your weight loss journey. Together, we can plan your weight loss and weight maintenance journey to achieve a good long term health.
Our team consists of Doctors, Nurses, Dietitians, Exercise Therapists, and Psychologists. We provide:

  1. Lifestyle management tips      
  2. Behavioral therapy to help modify your eating habits
  3. Medications that are safe for weight loss
  4. Bariatric (weight loss) surgery

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