The worrying unknowns (that you really need to know) of obesity.
“Obesity knows no borders” were the words uttered by Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe. Although referring to the rate of obesity that’s reaching epidemic proportions in the European region, no sentiment rings truer than this, especially with the UAE ranking among the top 40 countries in the world for a high prevalence of obesity.
Obesity and the relationship between having a healthy weight and the body’s proper functionality have long been studied by scholars, scientists, and healthcare practitioners all over the world. It’s no secret that this chronic condition affects the quality and quantity of a person’s life, impacting everything from respiratory and reproductive function to brain activities such as memory and mood. Most interestingly, the complexity of the disease means that the causal factors cannot simply be limited to an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
I explain to my patients that obesity is a chronic relapsing complex with multi-factorial intricacies. The disease of obesity arises as a result of an interaction between a genetic and epigenetic background with a person’s environment, stressors, and sociocultural factors resulting in behavior of inadequate dietary intake leading to elevated weight. This has been widely documented. But often missed, and not considered, are metabolic health and hormonal influences. When it comes to weight management or weight loss, I have since discovered that success does not boil down to a lack of willpower, but instead, is a metabolic issue which requires a holistic approach. Metabolic health involves not only the food we eat but also our energy and stress levels, emotional health and sleeping patterns. All these aspects play an important role and need to be taken care of when a person is living with obesity and is looking to regain health.
Furthermore, fat tissue is not an inert depot. Its presence is important as it supplies the body with energy, aids nutrient absorption, immune response, maintenance of body temperature and regulating insulin sensitivity. However, its dysfunction, at any level, may have negative metabolic and cardiovascular consequences such as decreased insulin sensitivity, hypertension, etc. Thus it is important to focus on maintaining healthy adipose tissue and aim at overall health improvement.
With all this in mind, and the current approximate 35% obesity rate in the UAE, it’s time to look into the holistic medical solutions that are needed to combat this epidemic effectively and for the long term. The crux of the issue is that obesity can affect multiple parts of a person’s body and health. To combat such a complex disease, multidimensional solutions such as the WEMA Health program, which I helped co-develop with some of the top medical experts in Europe, must be used in order to change people’s lives and their health. At the core of WEMA Health is a virtual-first, medicated, end-to-end obesity program that helps members lose up to 20% of their body weight, connecting them with endocrine specialists through its innovative, state-of-the-art app, with a focus on diet, exercise and psycho-social support.
With metabolic health playing a vital role in a person’s weight loss success, the program also makes available to users the modern and clinically documented weight loss medicine, GLP-1, which is prescribed in tandem with professional and personalized cognitive behavioral coaching, empowering members to make lasting lifestyle changes.
Words by Dr. Rita Nawar, Medical Director, WEMA Health
About WEMA Health:
WEMA Health is a virtual-first, medicated, end-to-end obesity program that helps its members lose up to 20% of their body weight by deploying in-house top specialists, personalized cognitive behavioral coaching, GLP-1 medication for all, and a state-of-the-art app with diet/exercise/psycho-social support. WEMA Health is incubated within Dawn Health — Europe’s largest manufacturer of Digital Health interventions.
For more information, visit www.joinwema.com/en.