According to the World Health Organization, overweight is considered when the body mass index (BMI) is equal to or greater than 25 kg/m². Obesity is diagnosed when this value is equal to or greater than 30 kg/m². BMI is calculated by dividing weight (in kg) by height squared (in meters).
In 2019, according to data from the National Health Survey, 16.9% of the Portuguese adult population was obese and around 53.5% were overweight (obese and pre-obese). The prevalence of obesity in the adult population in Portugal, according to OECD data, is 28.7%.
The data globally documents the seriousness of the situation, but does not reflect the reality of daily living with the disease, with all the stigmas, limitations, insecurities and feelings of guilt associated with this problem.
The numbers have increased further with the pandemic: physical inactivity, hypereating, increased consumption of processed foods. Emotional changes and anxiety related to confinement and lack of knowledge about the infection contributed to the development or worsening of eating disorders.
The data indicates that 26.4% of Portuguese gained weight during the period of social confinement.
Obesity not only contributes to the appearance of several diseases, such as arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea or degenerative osteoarticular pathology, but also worsens the prognosis of certain diseases ( for example, worsens mortality by 54% from COVID).
A new study, published in the scientific journal The Lancetestimates that 153 million people worldwide will have dementia by 2050, due to an aging population and risk factors such as obesity.
Obesity is a cardiovascular risk factor, increasing the likelihood of having an acute myocardial infarction or stroke.
If we treat obesity, we invest in our health and improve our quality of life in the future, preventing the emergence of various diseases.
The treatment of obesity is guided by the doctor, with multidisciplinary support whenever necessary (clinical nutrition, psychology, endocrinology, exercise physiology).
To achieve a healthy weight, in addition to lifestyle changes, with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, it may be necessary to perform targeted medication or treatment. The therapeutic indication must be assessed on a case-by-case basis and prescribed by the doctor.
An article by Doctor Eduarda Comenda, specialist in internal medicine at Clínica Fisiogaspar in Lisbon. Dedicated to the treatment of obesity and overweight. She is a researcher, certified consultant and prescriber of the Pronokal® Group – Specific Methodologies for the treatment of obesity and overweight. The Pronokal method is a medical treatment that solves overweight, obesity and lipoinflammation, while allowing food rehabilitation and the start of a new lifestyle.