Junk food causes serious health complications: experts

ISLAMABAD: The simplest way to reduce weight and maintain the lost weight is a combined strategy involving diet, exercise and behavioral changes.

This was expressed by the experts during a nutrition open house arranged by Shifa International Hospital (SIH) for public awareness on healthy weight loss and interactive session to mark the March National Nutrition Month. Junk food causes serious health complications and millions of people are at the risk of obesity which is the root cause of many diseases, the experts added.

The first reaction of many individuals who are obese is to start a starvation diet to lose weight, which is quite dangerous and only leads to further long-term weight gain, they observed.

Losing weight and keeping it off is a difficult task and this leads many people to turn to professional or commercial weight loss program for help. Professional guidance and support can be an important part of weight loss success if they motivate you sufficiently to change the way you eat or increase the amount of calories you burn through physical activity each day, the experts said.

Thousands of people have been benefitted from the professional Weight Loss Program over the past 20 years at Shifa International Hospital (SIH).

The event was followed by a free nutrition camp consisting of nutritional screening, assessment and dietary counseling on same day. Dr. Rezzan Khan, Consultant Nutritionist at SIH, conducted the workshop attended by large numbers of both men and women.

Weight Loss Program members gathered to discuss their struggles and share success achieved through professional help. Helpful strategies, tips and motivating experiences were shared among the attendees.

Dr. Rezzan Khan, Consultant Nutritionist at SIH and Islamabad Chapter in Charge of Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society, presented briefly on weight loss management in relation to various theories such as; obesity is an inflammatory disease, obesity is a microbial related disease and obesity is a brain (i.e. behavioral) disease.

Diet has recently been shown to strongly and rapidly influence the composition of the gut microbiota. She informed the audience that unhealthy diets causes inflammation in the body and leads to obesity.

To prevent the reduction of the good bacteria one should be; beware of antibiotics (do not use them unnecessarily), limit or avoid processed food, avoid artificial sweeteners, eat a predominantly plant based diet, and consume both soluble and insoluble fiber for lifelong health.

She also pointed out that an overweight person is not necessarily an obese person, as obesity is an excess of body fat, resulting in significant impairment of health. Besides losing weight is not necessarily the same as losing fat. So once determined to shed off body fat, proper nutrition consultancy is a must.

Scientific Weight Loss Program is offered by the Shifa Nutrition Clinic supported by the latest computer-based assessment that ascertains the exact amount of currant fat, lean body mass and water contents and the basal metabolic rate of the individual.

These metrics can lead to very precise diagnosis and treatment. At Shifa, every nutritional plan is tailored to the specific need of the individual patient.

The SIH Weight Loss Program ensures that the patient receives potent behavior modification training and cognitive restructuring in order to remove the underlying causes of the excess weight.

Also, they are provided with supervised, patient specific healthy diet and exercise plans that are designed to achieve permanent weight management.