Europe suffers from obesity: Surgeon explains how to manage it

More than half of the European population is obese which is becoming an alarming issue in the region and increases the chance of hospitalization with COVID-19 and developing cancer. Managing underlying medical conditions, creating a healthy diet and exercise routine, and taking care of mental health are some of the expert-suggested ways to deal with the problem. obesity

June 1, 2022. The latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO) claims Europe is struggling with the obesity problem—over half of the European adult population—59%—and almost 30% of children suffer from the condition which takes over 1 million lives annually. Even more alarming, the global number of obese people is estimated to reach 1 billion in just under 10 years.

Based on the WHO report, the condition is exacerbated by a number of factors like an unhealthy diet marketed to children and an increase in online gaming which results in reduced physical exercise. Steps proposed to reduce obesity cases in the region include promotion of investment in health, creation of robust health systems, restriction of junk food marketing, and others.

However, Linas Venclauskas, MD, Ph.D., a bariatric surgeon at Nordbariatric Clinic—a leading international bariatric center in Kaunas, Lithuania—said the road to managing obesity and helping people to stay at a healthy weight starts at the source and requires people themselves to change their lifestyle and take care of certain illnesses.

Illnesses that might lead to obesity

Prof. Venclauskas pointed out that people should be aware that obesity might be caused by serious underlying conditions.

“Obesity is not always related to unhealthy diet and physical exertion patterns. Sometimes it is provoked by endocrine, cardiac diseases, depression, joint and spinal diseases, as well as injuries that restrict mobility and force the person to lead a more sedentary lifestyle,” prof. Venclauskas explained. “These medical conditions need to be addressed separately and treated together with a physician before taking action to return to a healthy weight.”

Changing lifestyle to prevent obesity-related conditions

People with obesity have higher chances of being hospitalized due to COVID-19 and the illness might also cause as many as 13 different types of cancer. That said, taking preventive steps begins with developing certain health-conscious habits.

“Fewer carbs and alcohol, more exercise—people who have a tendency to gain weight should stick to these basic rules. If they are unable to do that on their own, dietitians, fitness trainers, and physicians are always there to help them reach their healthy body goals,” the surgeon said. “Great well-being and sufficient physical activity are known to lower stress and the desire for constant snacking.”

When it comes to mental health, the stress in professional and personal life often propels the development of the illness. If this is the case, the surgeon offered to consult with specialists who can help manage high-stress levels—psychiatrists or psychologists.

“The most important advice is to take care of one’s mind and eliminate the stressors from the environment, at the same time putting in the daily work finding delicious but healthy foods, exercising, and monitoring well-being,” prof. Venclauskas concluded.

About Nordbariatric

Nordbariatric is a private bariatric surgery clinic in Kaunas, Lithuania, part of Nordclinic, offering high-quality services and focusing on foreign patients. It is equipped with modern diagnostic and surgical facilities. Medical professionals at the clinic speak fluent English and show personal attention to every patient.

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