A healthy weight is an important ingredient for people’s wellbeing, or, to turn the argument on its head: extreme overweight (as well as underweight) is a health risk. In someone whose BMI is above 25 kg/m2, early adverse effects for the affected individual’s health will measurable; if it is higher than 30 kg/m2 these effects will be striking. The risk for cardiocirculatory disorders (including stroke, dementia, and myocardial infarction increases alongside the risk for diabetes, joint problems, and cancers. Combined with other risk factors, pronounced overweight will shorten a person’s life expectancy by several years. Psychological stresses will add to this burden, as a result of stigmatisation and a lower self-esteem than in people with a normal weight.

The four pillars of reducing overweight or maintaining a healthy weight are:

  • Diet/nutrition (selection of foods, eating behaviour, and calorie balance)
  • Exercise (energy expenditure, the way in which the body processes energy sources)
  • Behaviours (food as a reward, eating because of frustration, unrestricted eating, within eating and exercise culture)
  • (Bariatric) surgery and medication in selected cases

Would you like to improve your wellbeing, and give your health a chance, by getting a grip on your weight. Would you like to follow a structured programme? Have a look at the sections on “Diet/nutrition” and “exercise.”

  • Self-help forum for those affected: www.adipositas-forum.ch
  • Swiss professional association “obesity in childhood and adolescence”: www.akj-ch.ch
  • Alliance of specialist professional societies and patients’ organisations, Forum Obesity Schweiz: www.fos-ch.ch
  • Swiss Obesity Foundation: www.saps.ch
  • Department for the prevention of eating disorders in practice (Inselspital Bern): www.pepinfo.ch with sensitisation/awareness raising brochure