Obesity poses serious health risks

Free education session set

Obesity is more than a cosmetic concern.

Education session

Physical exercise is perhaps the single most integral part of losing weight, keeping it off, creating a better body image and a happier you.

Being overweight puts people at greater risk of developing serious health risks.

That will be the topic at an upcoming information session with Dr. Ruthlyn Pomares and physical therapist Christine Villaruel set for Thursday, 21 September at the Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital at 7pm.

According to the American Obesity Association, a body mass index – a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat and health risks – of 30 or higher is considered obese and overweight is defined as having a BMI of 25 or higher, said a hospital press release.

Obesity is associated with more than 30 medical conditions including diabetes (type 2), heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease and cancer of the breast, prostate and colon.

‘The good news is that even a modest weight loss can bring health improvements,’ said Dr. Pomares. ‘In many cases, you can accomplish this by eating healthier, exercising and changing behaviours. For people who don’t respond to lifestyle changes, prescription medications and surgical techniques are available to enhance the weight-loss process.’

The presentation will focus on the variety of weight management methods.

‘Weight is largely determined by how you balance your intake of calories from food with the energy you use in everyday activities,’ said Ms Villaruel

‘If you consume more calories than you use, you gain weight. Your body stores calories that you don’t need for energy as fat. Fat is important for storing energy and insulating your body, among other functions. The human body can handle carrying some extra fat, but beyond a certain point, body fat can begin to interfere with your health.’

Ms Villaruel explained how eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity are the main causes of obesity, especially in combination.

‘You must increase your level of physical activity if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Physical exercise is perhaps the single most integral part of losing weight, keeping it off, creating a better body image and a happier you.

‘You don’t have to join a gym or start training for a marathon to begin incorporating exercise into your life routine. Small, tangible goals are the best way to begin thinking about how you will make room for exercise in your life. Even a little exercise done around your home is a great way to start an exercise program.’

Ms Villaruel explained how waist circumference is also very important. If you carry most of your fat around your waist or upper body (apple shaped), you are at an increased risk of many of the serious conditions associated with obesity. Women’s waist measurements should be less than 35 inches. Men’s should be less than 40 inches.

‘The incidence of obesity is increasing worldwide, and I see many patients every day who are overweight and whose medical conditions could be greatly improved if they lost even as little as 10 per cent of their bodyweight. I strongly urge the public to come and learn more about the condition because the more a person’s weight increases, the more medical problems they will likely face,’ stated Dr. Pomares.


Persons wishing to register for this free education session on obesity and weight management methods are advised to call 949-6066.

Comments are closed.