Dr Marwa Gomaa Hussein Mokhtar, a Consultant at the Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI), said that most patients seeking non-surgical weight loss solutions at the National Obesity Treatment Centre of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) can achieve a healthy body weight within six to twelve months of entering a weight loss programme.

Dr Marwa Mokhtar

The National Obesity Treatment Centre delivers holistic, multidisciplinary care for patients seeing medical and surgical management of obesity and prevention of weight-related diseases. Since opening, over 4,700 patients have benefited from the centre’s services.

Located within the Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, patients are normally referred to the centre from other HMC outpatient clinics, including the National Diabetes Centres and obstetrics and gynecology departments, as well as from primary healthcare centres. Staffed by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, dietitians, educators, and physiotherapists, all patients referred to the centre undergo a comprehensive clinical evaluation prior the implementation  of a personalised weight loss treatment plan.

According to Dr Mokhtar, not all patients are candidates for surgical weight loss procedures and some patients who meet the clinical standards that qualify them for surgical weight loss choose non-surgical solutions. She said that while all weight loss programmes offered emphasise lifestyle modifications, highlighting adjustments to the types and quantities of foods consumed and the incorporation of physical activity goals, patients who seek non-surgical solutions tend to need extra support with setting realistic goals.

Dr Mokhtar, who is an endocrinology and diabetes consultant, said that causes of obesity are complex, noting that there may be many interrelated factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, diet, underlying health conditions, and how an individual’s body uses energy. Staff at the National Obesity Treatment Centre work with patients to help them set and reach their weight loss goals, taking time to ensure direction is given in a respectful and nonjudgmental way.

For some individuals, weight loss is essential to avoid or manage chronic diseases and conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, pre-diabetes, and high blood pressure. The longer a person is obese, the more significant obesity-related risk factors become. Having a BMI equal to or greater than 30 is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases.’

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, overweight, and obesity in adults. Individuals with a BMI greater than 30, which approximates to 30 pounds of excess weight, are at risk of developing serious health problems. Generally, a healthy weight among individuals aged 20 or over is defined as a BMI equal to or greater than 19 and less than 25, and a BMI of 40 or more is used to identify people who are extremely obese and most at risk for the health complications of obesity.

For more information about the National Obesity Treatment Centre, visit the HMC website at hamad.qa.