This page outlines useful information about obesity for patients who have been fighting weight gain for many years without success.

Being informed can help you make a decision about your health and assist you in taking the first steps in your weight loss journey.

What is Obesity?

Obesity occurs when an individual’s body weight is in excess of the healthy range for their height leading to a high percentage of body fat.

What are the causes of Obesity?

Weight gain and long term obesity can be caused by a number of factors:

  • Dietary environment and learned eating habits
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor diet

Obesity Symptoms

Clinical obesity and weight gain can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Some symptoms or side effects of obesity include:

  • Low back pain or Backaches.
  • Feeling tired all the time.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Joint pain (especially weight bearing knee and hip joints).
  • Low confidence or self-esteem.
  • Decreased libido
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Snoring or Sleep Apnoea.

Obesity Diagnosis


The Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most commonly used method for determining a patient’s weight category. The BMI is calculated by measuring the height and weight of the patient.

Other methods for diagnoses include:

  • Blood tests.
  • Physical exam.
  • Review of family history.
  • Waist measurement.

A GP may ask additional questions about your lifestyle and any potential underlying health issues.

What is Morbid Obesity?

If an individual has a BMI of over 35 they are considered to be obese. Other obesity measures are when a patient's weight is 30kg or more above his or her health weight.

A patient is considered to be morbidly obese when either of the above conditions are met and at least one other obesity-related health conditions (co-morbidity) is existing.

  • Arthritis
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Venous Stasis Disease (Collection of Blood in the Lower Limbs)
  • Soft Tissue Infections
  • Heart disease

Morbidly obese patients may qualify for weight loss surgery.

Why should I treat my Obesity?

If left untreated, obesity can lead to a number of serious health issues including:

  • Certain cancers.
  • Coronary heart disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Psychological conditions.
  • Respiratory disorders.
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Type two diabetes

Obesity Treatments


There are a number of options available for those who want to treat their obesity:

For individuals suffering from morbid obesity or long term issues associated with excess weight, bariatric (weight loss) surgery can be an effective treatment. In some cases, it is the best treatment and more effective than medical treatment of the condition.