This support groups brings together individuals fighting morbid obesity to offer them the right support, a positive ecosystem and advice.
Obesity Support Group
Frequently asked questions
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. People are considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of the person’s height in metres, exceeds 30 kg/m2. Being obese means having so much body fat that your health is in danger.
Morbid Obesity – When the body weight reaches extreme levels with a very high BMI, it’s called Morbid Obesity. It is a serious health condition that can interfere even with basic physical functions such as breathing or walking. Those who are morbidly obese are at greater risk for illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
What are the effects of Obesity on health?
Obesity has many and serious negative effects on health. Some of the health effects associated with obesity include the following:
- High Blood Pressure: Extra body weight can raise the heart rate and reduce the body's ability to transport blood through the vessels, resulting in high blood pressure contributing to other health conditions.
- Diabetes: Obesity is the major cause of type 2 diabetes. Obesity can cause resistance to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. When obesity causes insulin resistance, the blood sugar becomes elevated. Even moderate obesity dramatically increases the risk of diabetes.
- Heart Diseases: Atherosclerosis, called the hardening of the arteries, is present 10 times more often in obese people compared to those who are not obese. Coronary artery disease is also more prevalent because fatty deposits build up in arteries that supply the heart. Narrowed arteries and reduced blood flow to the heart can cause chest pain (angina) or a heart attack. Blood clots can also form in narrowed arteries and cause a stroke.
- Joint Problems, including Osteoarthritis: Obesity can affect the knees and hips because of the stress placed on the joints by extra weight. Joint replacement surgery, while commonly performed on damaged joints, may not be an advisable option for an obese person because the artificial joint has a higher risk of loosening and causing further damage.
- Sleep Apnea and Respiratory Problems: Sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for brief periods, interrupts sleep throughout the night and causes sleepiness during the day. It also causes heavy snoring. Respiratory problems associated with obesity occur when added weight of the chest wall squeezes the lungs and causes restricted breathing. Sleep apnea is also associated with high blood pressure.
- Cancers: In women, being overweight contributes to an increased risk for a variety of cancers including breast, colon, gallbladder, and uterus. Men who are overweight have a higher risk of colon and prostate cancers.
- Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a complex risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome consists of six major components: abdominal obesity, elevated blood cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance with or without glucose intolerance, elevation of certain blood components that indicate inflammation, and elevation of certain clotting factors in the blood.
What is BMI?
BMI or Body Mass Index is a globally acknowledged, scientific method of measuring obesity. Recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization), it is a simple index of weight- for- height, which is used to classify underweight, normal, overweight and obese adults along with their level of associated health risks. It is calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of an individual’s height in meters. The classification of Underweight, Normal Overweight and Obese according to BMI is given in the table below:
Risk of co-morbidities
Low (but risk of other clinical problems increased)
18.5 - 22.9
23 – 24.9
25 - 29.9
Obese Class I
30.0 - 34.9
Obese Class II
35.0 - 39.9
Obese Class III
> = 40.0
Generally, as the BMI increases, the potential risk of medical problems like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and many others becomes higher. BMI is often calculated to find out how prone a person is to these diseases; and suggest improvement measures and treatment.
Loss of weight through a healthy diet, and regular exercise can result into a lower BMI; and thus place a person in the low-risk category.
There are certain situations when it is not appropriate to calculate Body Mass Index, as the results are inaccurate. They are as follows:
- BMI charts are usually meant only for adults and it is necessary to use a different, specific, BMI calculator and chart while calculating the BMI of children
- The BMI calculator may report a higher BMI for athletes or people with muscular bodies; even though the actual fat levels in their bodies may be normal and healthy
- BMI should not be calculated for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding
- People who are old, frail, weak, or just recovering from a disease may report a BMI that is not in line with the actual fat levels in their body
What are the objectives of the Obesity Support Group?
The Obesity Support Group empowers individuals to fight against obesity in a healthy and holistic manner by providing the following:
- A strong engagement program with all the important stakeholders involved in the treatment journey.
- Appropriate, timely and transparent information and counseling to Obesity patients and their family members.
- A platform for an open and transparent interaction amongst past patients, their family members and high risk obese patients & their family members.
How can I become part of the Obesity Support Group?
Joining the Support Group is a simple three-step process.
Step 1: Meet the Support Group program coordinator at Gleneagles Hospitals.
Step 2: Discuss your requirements and concerns and understand all aspects of the Support Program.
Step 3: Fill up the Membership form providing all required details.
Who can become a member of the Obesity Support Group?
Everyone who is determined to support the cause of those suffering from obesity-related health complications and those who are overweight can join the group. The group is especially recommended for those currently facing morbid obesity and those who have undergone bariatric surgery in the past.
What are the benefits of becoming member of the Obesity Support Group?
As part of the Obesity Support Group, you can participate in discussions about the various ways and options for effectively managing life with obesity and overweight, discuss and understand the journey of losing weight through Bariatric surgery or other suitable treatment options. You can hear from others, who faced similar challenges, learn from their experience and derive strength and hope to fight the disease and overcome it.