Watch your diet and your general lifestyle to avoid obesity - Prof Koto

Department of Health 09/03/2020 - 10:25

​​Vuyo Sabani

As the global family of nations on Wednesday, 4 March, observed the World Obesity Day; the head of General Surgery at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital (DGMAH), Professor Zach Koto pleaded with members of the public to take into consideration the type of food they consume, as that is one of the main causes of obesity.

Prof Koto and his colleagues at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) hosted World Obesity Day to create awareness about obesity and offered free assessment.


The event, which was attended by the university staff, students, general members of the community and the DGMAH patients offered talks on diverse topics such as “eating your way to a better health”; “Healthy lifestyle leads to a psychological well-being” and “what is metabolic surgery?”


According to World Health Organisation, the World Obesity Day encourages practical solutions to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight, undertake proper treatment, and reverse the obesity crisis.


“The cause of obesity is mainly the type of food we eat, which are heavy-energy food and rich in fat and the sedentary lifestyle we lead where we exercise very little but eat more calories. There are other causes of obesity such as genetic causes, medical conditions and medication such as anti-depressive agents, but by and large the cause of obesity is mainly lifestyle,” said Prof Koto.

He added that the biggest misconception about obesity was that, “you get obese by eating more and exercising less and once you are obese, decreasing your food intake will automatically make you lose all the excess weight.”

“Obesity is much more complex than that.  The other misconception is that there is a magic treatment that makes people lose weight.  It is much more than that.  It is a lifestyle change, a new way of life to lose weight,” warned Prof Koto.


“We encourage the public to be aware of the magnitude of the problem of obesity, the medical threat that obesity pose to our lives.  We encourage modest and correct eating habits, regular exercise and avoidance of fast foods and soft drinks that are rich in sugar,” advised Prof Koto.

Furthermore, obesity has a potential for serious ailments such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, gallbladder disease, dyslipidaemia, obstructive sleep apnoea, hypertension.  There are certain cancers that are directly related to obesity such as breast cancer and endometrial cancer, said Prof Koto.  Other diseases related to obesity include heart disease, liver disease and kidney disease.

“Obesity puts individuals at serious risk of premature death. The problems posed by obesity are numerous and serious.  Preventative methods are well and good for those that are not yet obese, but do not help those that are already obese. For the already obese individuals, there is help available.”

The DGMAH offers bariatric (metabolic) surgery for obese patients.  Prof Koto said this type of operation is safe and highly effective and the hospital’s centre has been internationally accredited which attests to its calibre. 

To book for evaluation please call the centre on: 012 5214150.  ​



Tags: Gauteng Department of Health healthy lifestyles World Obesity Day diet Healthcare


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