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Words from Dr Garth McLeod, Bariatric and General Surgeon.

by Jacinta Plazzer on November 05, 2023

Dr Garth McLeod is a Bariatric and General Surgeon based in Queensland, and a fan of Yeppoonie Smoothie. He will be contributing blog pieces from his perspective, with knowledge obtained as a General Surgeon for over 20 years, with a focus on weight loss surgery throughout the last decade. We have the same focus, or mission, which is to provide practical ways and advice to assist weight reduction and achieve better health outcomes.


The obesidemic and what it means…an introduction

There is a health crisis occurring in our society and continuing to unfold with each passing year. The nation’s health is imperilled and most people aren’t even aware it’s going on. Sounds theatrical? Even histrionic? But it isn’t. The epidemic of obesity, or the “obesidemic” (a neologism I coined) describes the relatively rapid rise in the numbers of overweight and obese people in Australia, and around the world, primarily in developed countries (though certainly not exclusive to developed countries). So what kind of numbers am I talking about?-
  • 2/3 of adult Australians are presently categorised as overweight or obese with a roughly 50:50 split for the two categories
  • 1/4 of children are now classified as overweight and obese
  • Predictions based on the current trajectory estimate that by 2030, two out of every three adult Australians will be clinically obese
  • Tasmania is the most overweight and obese state with just under 71% of the population in these categories
  • ACT is the least overweight and obese but still has 64% of the population with an unhealthy weight
  • Mackay is statistically the most overweight and obese city in Queensland with an adult population with a rate of overweight and obesity of over 83%

 Any way you look at it the state of the nation’s health is extremely worrisome. Why is this a problem? Morbid obesity means excess weight associated with morbidity (or illness and disease). The weight related disease states include diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnoea (pauses in breathing whilst sleeping and low oxygen levels in the blood), high cholesterol, heart disease, infertility, strokes, osteoarthritis, increased risk for numerous types of cancer, and many more. These diseases can significantly decrease a person’s quality of life along with their life expectancy. Obesity is a disease. Obesity is a disease that affects almost every organ system in the human body, and almost invariably in a deleterious fashion.

The aetiology or causes of obesity are very complex but fundamentally result from a disequilibrium in the energy balance equation(s) responsible for maintaining an organism’s (human or otherwise) weight. There are multiple factors and inputs and influences which can alter this energy balance at various levels from a cellular chemical reaction through to societal pressures. Doctors, surgeons and scientists continue to work on unravelling the complexities of the disease state of morbid obesity but at present a single perfect solution does not exist. There are many very good ways to treat obesity, many of them very effective, but certainly none yet that are infallible.

In the weeks and months to follow I will discuss and elaborate upon the why, how, which, what and who of obesity and further delve into ways to address this disease state and find a way back to health, both for individuals and for society in general.

Dr Garth McLeod (BSc/ BHB/ MBChB/ FRACS)
Bariatric and General Surgeon

by Malcolm Ryan-Cowell on January 31, 2024

This is a topic of considerable concern, and consequence, for us all. The issue for the average person is finding a source of information that addresses these issues, and provides the knowledge to form a wide ranging persoective, leading to the establishment of substantive habits to fight the old habits that lead to the obese state.

I, for one, am looking foward to following Dr McLeods blog. Thank you Jacinta for enabling this very important program.

Regards, and best wishes, Malcolm

by Liz Gladstone on January 31, 2024

I am very interested to hear whatyou have to say, losing weight has always been a problem for me.

by Cathy Dunstone on January 31, 2024

Iv been on the yeppoonie smoothes the last 2 weeks and love them, I’m booked on for gastric bypass in 3 weeks time, so hoping I can still use after surgery


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