15 -19 October is National Obesity Week, an opportunity to once again highlight the fact that South Africa has the highest rates of obesity in sub-Saharan Africa. According to reports from 2016, up to 70% of women and one third of men classified as overweight or obese.
More astounding is the fact that 40% of women in South Africa are classified as obese, which means that their Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 301.
A patient is defined as overweight if they have a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 and are obese if their BMI is over 30.02. Patients can go to www.ilivelite.co.za to access a useful BMI calculator.
According to Dr Gary Hudson, a Johannesburg-based physician with a special interest in obesity and metabolic disorders, obesity is globally the number one non-communicable disease, responsible for approximately one million deaths per year. Furthermore, at a recent medical workshop where Dr Hudson spoke about the understanding and management of obesity, he included the statistic that 20% of girls under the age of 9 are overweight in South Africa.
Obesity is associated with many health risks and diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension/high blood pressure, joint pain and certain cancers.
The good news is that by losing just five to 10 percent body weight, your patient can enjoy a host of health benefits. In fact, there is scientific evidence that many obesity-related conditions improve with a five-10 percent weight-loss.
A weight loss of five -10 percent can result in a five point increase in HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol, which can lower the risk of developing heart disease. Modest weight loss can also decrease blood pressure.
Research has also shown that a weight loss of five -10 percent can decrease a person’s Hemoglobin A1C, the marker used to screen for diabetes, by half a point on average. Furthermore, this degree of weight loss has been found to decrease insulin levels and can help to decrease insulin resistance.
For some people, the thought of losing even five -10 percent of their weight can be a daunting and somewhat impossible task. While the decision to lose weight starts with your patient, medical research has shown that there is strong and consistent evidence that overweight and obese patients in well-designed programmes can achieve a weight loss as much as ten percent of their baseline weight.
Prescription medication, such as Duromine which contains the Phentermine molecule, together with lifestyle adjustments such as a healthy eating and exercise plan, can help kick start a weight loss journey, or can help someone get back on track.
Dr Hudson says that the three way management of obesity, which includes the involvement of the healthcare practitioner, the patient themselves and the support of the patient’s family and or work/colleagues, can yield favourable results.
Someone who knows just what some of the health advantages are of combining the use of prescription medication together with healthy eating and exercise is 38 year old mother of two, Leanne from Johannesburg, who says she woke up in September last year, tired of having sore knees and struggling with plantar fasciitis. Here she explains her journey using Duromine, which was prescribed by her doctor.
“My weight had slowly crept up through the years and mostly after having kids. I have tried and failed at many diets. I had heard about iNova’s weight loss medication but had wanted to try to lose weight alone. But I decided to make an appointment to see my doctor and that was a huge turning point in my life,” she says. “The medication gave me quick results at first which was just what I needed to stay motivated”.
Leanne says that as the weeks went by, she started fitting into clothes that she never thought she would wear.
“iNova’s weight loss medication is not a quick fix and you cannot just carry on eating the way you were, that did not work, that was why I was overweight,” she says.
She also started adopting good habits such as drinking plenty of water, cutting out sugar and unhealthy carbohydrates and eating healthy meals and snacks and because of her increased energy, Leanne was able to start exercising.
“I have lost 24kg in nine months and plan to lose another 16kg. I am no longer insulin resistant. I no longer have sore knees and my plantar fasciitis is a thing of the past,” she says.
Duromine from iNova6 is the number one prescribed weight loss medication in South Africa, with a safety profile spanning over 50 years.
Healthcare practitioners can register using their MP number at www.ilivelite.co.za to access more information.