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Obesity and weight gain

Obesity is associated with several illnesses including cardiovascular diseases, like heart attack, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. In hypertensive or diabetic patients, weight gain makes your blood pressure or blood sugar difficult to control, so maintaining ideal weight is very important.

We use the body mass index (BMI) to determine our ideal weight. We calculate BMI by dividing our weight in kilogram by our height in metres squared, in order words using this formula (kg/m2). For example;

– If your weight is 70kg and your height is 1.8m.

– Your BMI will be 70 divided by 1.8 two times or squared (70/1.82).

– This gives you a BMI of 21.6.

An ideal weight is a BMI between 20 – 25.

Overweight is when your BMI is between 25 – 30.

Obesity is when your BMI is above 30.

With this formula, you should be able to calculate your ideal weight, based on your height. For those of us that are overweight or obese, there are two main ways to lose weight. This is by exercise and dieting.

Exercise has to be frequent, not once a week but 5 times or more a week, each session lasting more than 30 minutes. The exercise session should include mostly dynamic exercise like jogging, with some resistance exercise to tone the muscles.

By dieting we don’t mean skipping meals, rather it means knowing what to eat. A healthy diet should be low in refined carbohydrate and saturated fat, high in fruits and vegetables, and more of whole grains and nuts.

About Dr Emeka Okocha

Consultant Cardiologist with interest in preventive cardiology

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