Obesity and Weight management

Obesity and Weight management

How widespread is it?

We know obesity is a problem, but how common is it? According to research data from a 2017 Ministry of Health (MOH) study, 36.2% of Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 were overweight. 13% of school-age children were also overweight. The WHO also found that Singapore has the second highest overweight prevalence in South East Asia.

A number of diseases have obesity as a major contributing factor.

Obesity is a national health problem. According to the Singapore Burden of Disorders survey, diseases associated with obesity had the most negative effects on health in terms of pain and expense. The national illness burden of diabetes is also mostly caused by obesity. Obesity can negatively impact your self-esteem and body image in social situations, which can lead to psychological stress.

Obesity and being overweight is also a major reason for the metabolic syndrome. This sydrome is a collection of illnesses with obesity as a major contributing factor. This cavalcade of diseases include diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. As a result of these chronic ailments, people get illnesses like ischemic heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Obesity and being overweight is also linked to additional illnesses like obstructive sleep apnea, joint issues, gallstones, and gallbladder infections.

How do I know if I am overweight or obese?

The BMI is a simple point of reference we use to determine if someone is underweight, within normal range, overweight or obese. The BMI is easily calculated using the following formula:

BMI = Body Mass Index (height x height [in meters])

According to the World Health Organization, the numerical result of the formula corresponds with the following categorisations:

  • Underweight = 18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obese = more than 30

However, Asian populations tend to be smaller, so we should use this scale:

  • Underweight = 18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5 – 23.0
  • Pre-obese = 23.5
  • Obese = >=27.5

While this is not a perfect indicator of obesity, it does provide your doctor with a good idea of your weight in relation to your height.


The ins and outs

Weight gain and loss can be explained using the idea of caloric balance (intake vs. output). If you expend more energy than you take in from food, you will lose weight. Conversely, if you take in more energy than you burn, you will gain weight.

As a guide, by burning about 500 more calories than you consume each day, you will lose approximately 2 kg in a month. To optimise weight loss in a healthy way, limit your caloric intake and adopt a better nutritional quality in your diet. On top of that, you should also increase your physical activity and energy expenditure to further raise your caloric deficit.

What will happen when I consult my doctor for weight loss?

Your doctor will ask you about your past medical history, food habits, and level of activity. After that, blood tests for thyroid function, blood sugar, and cholesterol may be ordered by your doctor. This is crucial since gaining weight could indicate a medical condition. Your doctor may also measure your waist, neck, arm, and fat folds, among other things. Additionally, your doctor will check your vital indicators, such as blood pressure and heart rate.

Weight Management

Obesity treatment must be handled from several directions at once, and the patient’s willpower and resolve are essential for success.

The best and most natural approach to lose weight is to alter your food, eating habits, and lifestyle while also engaging in regular physical activity. Your doctor will collaborate with you to develop a nutrition and exercise plan. If necessary, your doctor might also suggest using certain drugs.

Different Types of Weight Loss Drugs

It is crucial to keep in mind that drugs are supplements to your weight loss program and not intended to be taken as a stand-alone magical tablet.

That said, here are a few of the medications we may take:


Orlistat prevents the body from absorbing fat. Your energy intake falls as a result of the fat remaining in your gut rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream. Although the gastrointestinal side effects of this medication—oily stools, diarrhea, gas, and increased bowel movements—can be bothersome for some people, Orlistat is generally very safe.


Duromine works by reducing hunger and speeding up your metabolism. It has a unique set of adverse effects like heart palpitations, sleeplessness, hypertension, anxiety, dry mouth, and nausea. Duromine might also make some people’s gastrointestinal pains worse. Some patients may also build up a resistance to it over time, which makes the treatment less effective or cease working altogether. Some patients with pre-existing medical issues may not be able to take this medication.

Monitoring your weight loss journey

Your doctor will set up routine follow-up appointments to monitor your weight loss, physical health, and any adverse side effects from your prescription. Additional blood tests may also be ordered as required.

Speak with one of our doctors right away to get started on your path to a successful, long-lasting weight loss!

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