NOVO NORDISK EMBARKS ON CHANGING OBESITY INITIATIVE
MAY 16, 2019 @ 12.47 PM
Obesity affects about 650 million adults and more than 120 million children, as well as adolescents across the globe. It has reached pandemic proportions and constitutes a public health issue worldwide with massive economic consequences for health systems.
In Malaysia, the numbers are similarly alarming. According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015, one-third (33.4%) of adults over the age of 18 are overweight, and 30.6% are obese, based on the Malaysian Clinical Practice Guidelines of Obesity (2004) classifications.
Obesity is commonly perceived as a lifestyle choice by many, but the underlying causes of obesity is more complex than that.
"Research has shown that obesity is a complex and multifactorial disease, influenced by either genetic, physiological, environmental and psychological factors. For example, some studies have shown that people living with obesity tend to have strong BMI correlation with their family members, as compared to their marital partners,” said Associate Professor Dr Alex Tan, Consultant Endocrinologist, University Malaya Medical Centre.
Obesity is also known to cause serious health complications and is associated with an impaired quality of life. The higher the person’s BMI, the higher the risk of being exposed to type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnoea, certain types of cancer and decreased life expectancy. People with obesity also face stigma from society because of their weight-related health complications which could lead to depression and a lower health-related quality of life.
“When a person with obesity tries to lose weight, they may end up regaining more weight as a result of their bodies slowing down the metabolic rate and genetic factors, in order to put the weight back on. Today, obesity is classified as a chronic disease, but we need to work towards changing the way people perceive obesity. We cannot stress enough, that support for these patients is key to helping them through their condition”, said Dato’ Dr Tikfu Gee, Consultant Bariatric & Metabolic Surgeon, Sunway Medical Centre.
The increase in the prevalence of obesity is a public health issue with significant implications to the individual and healthcare systems. As part of its long-term commitment to improve the lives of people with obesity, Novo Nordisk is partnering with multiple stakeholders to embark on its Changing Obesity initiative, to help raise the awareness surrounding obesity and help Malaysians better understand the condition.
“At Novo Nordisk, we are committed to addressing the unmet needs of obesity and tackling the barriers of effective care. As part of our long-term commitment to improve the lives of people with obesity, we are looking forward to partner with local agencies and work together to raise awareness on the implications of obesity and its prevention, as well as breaking the stigma around obesity,” said Richard Abela, Vice President & General Manager (Malaysia), Novo Nordisk Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd.
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