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What is Obesity

Nutrition surveys over the past 20 years have proven that we are eating more food today than we used to. In fact, Australian intake surveys found children increased their energy intake by over 200 calories per day between 1990 and 2010.

The latest global estimates indicate that an additional 1.2 billion people will be overweight or obese by 2030, with the greatest proportion of those new qualifiers being residents of the UK, USA or Australia.

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or over, calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height squared in metres.


Category Body Mass Index (kg/m2) Over Ideal Body Weight (%)
Underweight <18.5
Normal 18.5 – 24.9
Overweight 25.0 – 29.9
Obesity (class 1) 30 – 34.9 >20%
Severe obesity (class 2) 35 – 39.9 >100%
Severe obesity (class 3) 40 – 49.9
Superobesity >50 >250%

Weight Loss Surgery


Excess body weight is defined as
the amount of weight that is in
excess of the ideal body weight.
Ideal body weight is determined as a
BMI in between 18.5 – of 24.9 kg/m2.



The reasons of becoming obese vary and differ from person to person. At some stage there is often an imbalance in between calorie intake and physical exercise but also some medications or medical conditions can contribute to significant weight gain. Another less influenceable factor are the genes. Genetics play a role in developing obesity but also determine how difficult it is to lose weight in the long term.

Once obese it affects your health and wellbeing. There is a dramatic increase in developing metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes,high cholesterol, which leads to heart disease, stroke, pulmonary embolism, depression and osteoarthritis.

Some research has linked obesity to certain cancers, including renal cancer, bowel cancer and pancreatic cancer, and – unsurprisingly – obesity is known to shorten life expectancy.

Obesity can lead to hormonal imbalances which can impact fertility.

Should I Consider Weight Loss Surgery?

Generally speaking, weight loss surgery could be an option if you:

  •  Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher
  •  have a BMI of 35 or higher and also have obesity -related diseases or health concerns (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnoea,  depression)
  •  weigh more than 45 kg above your ideal body weight
  •  have not been able to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even through medically supervised dieting and exercise

A Team Approach

Maintaining weight loss is a long-term commitment. It requires ongoing support from a variety of health professionals as well as nutritional, exercise and behavioral changes.

Dr Puhalla believes in holistic patient management. He involves experienced dietitians and a weight loss psychologist to provide ongoing support before, during and after your surgery to give you the guidance you need to make your weight loss surgery a success.


Contact Us

Dr Harald Puhalla is a General Surgeon with a private practice at Gold Coast Private Hospital.

For more information about the surgical procedures offered by Dr Puhalla, please contact us to arrange a consultation or phone (07) 5667 9766.


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