Posted on 11/01/2016

Practical solutions for medical obesity

Practical solutions for medical obesity

It’s generally agreed that most examples of obesity are caused by consuming more calories – particularly those in fatty and sugary foods – than you burn off through physical activity. The excess energy is then stored by the body as fat.

However, obesity can also be a product of certain disorders, such as an underactive thyroid gland, or the side effect of certain medications through an increased appetite. Living with restricted mobility can also cause excessive weight gain as exercise is often painful or impractical. In short, obesity is not always preventable and without the right living aids, severe cases can even make you feel trapped inside your own home.

Bariatric aids to improve quality of life

The dictionary definition of ‘bariatric’ refers to a branch of medicine that deals with the control and treatment of obesity and allied diseases. Being obese and carrying extra weight can lead to restrictions in your day to day life, from awkward bending or stretching to difficulty in transferring from your bed, chair or toilet.

There are many living aids that can make daily activities easier, ranging from wider toilet seats to long handed equipment such as sponges, shoe horns and reachers. Here are just some examples of equipment that can be beneficial:

REMEMBER: When buying heavy duty equipment it is important to check the maximum user weight on the items, to ensure they are suitable and safe for you to use. It is also important to consider the maximum user weight for the furniture/fittings where the equipment is going to be used. Remember to add on the weight of the equipment itself as well as the user’s weight, to ensure this doesn’t exceed the maximum weight limit for the furniture/fittings.

Tips for staying healthier

Although we recognise that limited mobility, medication or living with certain conditions may make it harder to control your weight, there are still ways you can maintain a healthier lifestyle:

  • If you are overweight or obese, visit your GP for advice about losing weight safely and to find out if you have an increased risk of health problems.
  • Eat a balanced, calorie-controlled diet as recommended by your GP or weight loss management health professional (such as a dietician).
  • Eat slowly and avoid situations where you know you could be tempted to overeat.
  • Join a local weight loss group.
  • If you’re able, take up activities such as fast walking, jogging, swimming or tennis for 2.5 – 5 hours a week. If you have not taken regular exercise before or not been exercising for some time, take advice from your GP first.

You may also benefit from psychological support from a trained healthcare professional, to help change the way you think about food and eating.

REMEMBER: Even losing what seems like a small amount of weight (such as 3% or more of your original body weight), and maintaining this for life, can significantly reduce your risk of obesity-related complications like diabetes and heart disease.

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