Obesity has always been a hot topic in the health industry because it is a worldwide issue. Almost 1/3 of the world population are obese.
Obesity in Malaysia
However, this issue has been more widely discussed in Malaysia after we were being recognized as being the fattest country in Southeast Asia. At this time, nearly 44.2% of Malaysians (according to WHO) are obese. From the 73% of total deaths in government hospitals due to non-communicable disease, a major percentage is due to obesity.
Are You Obese?
A person is considered obese if calculated BMI is 30 and above.
Malaysia is a food haven. You might not realize it, but in Malaysia, you can get a variety of food easily. For example, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Egyptian, Italian, French, Arabic, and many more. With so many yummy selections and less workout, it’s no wonder that some people end up obese without realizing and this caused a negative impact on their life.
The negative impact mentioned isn’t just about physical appearance and level of self confidence, but more towards health and well-being. Being obese increases one’s risk to getting health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, sleep apnea, gout, and many more. Now that we know more about obesity, obesity is actually considered as a disease that needs to be paid serious attention!
Not too long ago, I had a chance to attend “Health Awareness Talk – Obesity is a disease. Find a Solution.” organized by Medi-excell Sdn Bhd at Restoran Hydramawt, Wangsa Maju. It was a very informative session by Dr. Mustafa Mohammed, Bariatric Surgeon at iHEAL Medical Centre Kuala Lumpur and KPJ Ampang Puteri.
How to Prevent Obesity
According to Dr. Mustafa, obesity doesn’t happen overnight. Some people has been obese since young due to bad diet habits.
- Be more active physically and run at least 40 minutes everyday to achieve fat burning zone
- Increase water intake and minimize consumption of sugar-laden drinks such as soft drinks and bubble milk tea
- Practice mindful eating and increase intake of real food: the less process involved, the better
- Eat a high fibre diet that contains grains, vegetables and fruits. Remember to choose fruits that has lower sugar content!
Although there are awareness and determination to reverse obesity, some patients who have severe obesity need more than just a healthy diet and exercise. One of the options is to undergo bariatric surgery (also known as Gastric bypass surgery), a safe and effective procedure to induce weight loss.
There are a few types of bariatric surgery that basically makes your stomach smaller after the procedure. This results in fewer calories absorption due to lesser food consumption from feeling full sooner. In the end, the obese patient will be able to achieve ideal body weight. An obese patient can lose up to 30% of their starting weight, depending on the type of bariatric surgery.
Requirements for Bariatic Surgery
However, bariatric surgery is not for everyone. Obese patient will have to go through some tests and consultation session with a bariatric specialist to ensure certain criteria are met.
The criteria are as follow:
- BMI reading above 30
- Obese patient who has other diseases linked to obesity, such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep disorder, etc
- Obese patient who failed to lose weight despite following a controlled diet and exercise
- Obese patient who is at least 18 years old
After the procedure, obese patient not only able to achieve ideal body weight, but is also akin to gaining a “new life” after regaining their health and fitness level.
Rest assured that obese patients are most likely to be able maintain their ideal weight and will not rebound to their starting weight during obesity.
Among the obese patients who have underwent bariatric surgery under the care of Dr. Mustafa are Rahim Sepahtu (comedian), Aishah (singer) and Alif Johan (the son of Nora, a renowned local songbird).
During the talk, both of them shared regarding their life, physical condition and health before and after the procedure.
Apart from physical changes and an ideal body weight, the most important change is they managed to regain their health and they are now fit to do more things. The urge to eat more is also gone, hence making it easier to maintain their current weight.
A big thank you to Medi-excell Sdn Bhd and Dr. Mustafa for the insightful sharing session. I really learned a lot and I hope you benefited from my sharing too. If you are an obese patient or you know someone who needs some help in this area, do contact Puan Rafeah at 016-2330678 to schedule for a consultation.
Do follow the Instagram account of Dr. Mustafa Mohammed at www.instagram.com/dr.mustafamt for more information and testimonials regarding obesity and bariatric surgery.