Together We Can Fight Obesity is an awareness Campaign launched by BAU

24 February 2021


For the occasion of the “World Obesity Day” assigned by the World Obesity Federation on the 4th of March, the Faculty of Medicine at Beirut Arab University coped the importance of this day and shed the light on this medical issue raised through a Television Interview with the Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Faculty Dr. Hala Ahmadieh MD, MHPE - Endocrinology Consultant as this day is considered to be of extreme importance in order to increase awareness on the seriousness of this disease and the complications commonly associated with it.
Below is the link of the full interview:

What is Obesity?
Obesity, is defined by the by the National Institutes of Health as having a Body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above. BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by a person’s height in meters squared. A person is considered to be overweight when the BMI increases to more than 23 kg/m2.

Is obesity considered a disease?
Obesity is considered a disease since it was found to be linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, increased lipids, high blood pressure, joint problems, and gallstones. It also increases the risks of certain cancers such as breast cancers, colon cancers and other types of cancers. Obesity can also cause sleep and breathing problems.

What causes obesity?
Obesity is known to be multifactorial, with both genetic and behavioral factors playing a role. Primary causes of obesity are linked to genetic abnormalities that can cause excessive appetite and overeating, which can lead to obesity. As for the environmental factors, it is quite true that the rising epidemic of obesity is primarily attributed to sedentary lifestyle adopted and the poor dietary habits. In fact, childhood obesity increased and this is worrisome. Also, people suffering from a lack of sleep and stress may crave for more food, especially carbohydrate-rich foods. Secondary causes of obesity are common too. These include medications-induced obesity and endocrine related causes, such as deficiency in thyroid hormone production due to decreased thyroid gland function and increased endogenous steroids production along with others.

Does obesity have any psychological impacts?
Sure! Besides the physical comorbidities caused by obesity, it has been also associated with a psychological burden as well. Many individuals who are obese often struggle with depression, anxiety disorders, low mood and low self-esteem, and often complain of a poor quality of life.

What are some effective ABC tips to manage obesity?
A: Avoid sugary drinks and drink water instead.
B: Breastfeeding should be encouraged as it helps to avoid obesity in children.
C: Consult your doctor if you are concerned about your weight.
D: Drink more water instead of sugary drinks.
E: Exercise regularly at least 30 minutes a day five times a week.
F: Fruits and vegetables should be an essential part of a healthy well-balanced diet.
G: Get conscious of your eating habits and eat fewer calories to lose weight
H: Healthy snack between meals can avoid overeating during your next meal.

Hala Ahmadieh MD, MHPE
Endocrinology Consultant
Assistant Professor of Medicine