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Men's Lifestyle - Weight Control

Men's Lifestyle
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Weight Control
      1 Why should I pay attention to overweight and obesity?
      2 What is a healthy weight?
      3 Should I reduce weight?
      4 How can I help myself to reduce/maintain weight?

1Why should I pay attention to overweight and obesity?

Carrying extra weight makes your body work harder, and can interfere with how your body works internally. If you are overweight, you are more likely to have many health problems including:

Some men are genetically vulnerable of becoming obese, but environment and habits are the biggest influence on your risk of becoming overweight or obese.


2What is a healthy weight?

Healthy bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a scale that shows you if your weight is in the healthy range. A healthy weight is BMI between 18.5 and 22.9.

Of note is that it also matters where your body stores the excess fat. Researches show that people who have most of their fat stored around their waists/tummies (Apple-shaped) will have a higher risk of having heart disease and diabetes mellitus than those who carry it around their hips (Pear-shaped). To decide if you are an Apple or a Pear, try the simple waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) measurement.

Do You Know...

Combination of convenient and affordable high-fat, high-sugar diets in addition to a sedentary lifestyle (with no exercise or little physical activity) explains the rapid increase in obesity and ever-expanding waistline in men in Hong Kong.

Health Alert

If you are overweight, you are more likely to have many health problems including coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, certain types of cancer, gallstone, joint problems and obstructive sleep apnoea.

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3Should I reduce weight?

You should refer to your BMI and WHR to see if you need to lose some weight.

If you are overweight, any level of weight loss will have significant health benefits. Benefits of losing weight include significant decreases in raised blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels, reduced risk of suffering or dying from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

If you are obese and have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes, it is wise to have a general check-up and ask your doctor to refer you to other health professionals (e.g. dietitian) for individualized advice and support.

If you are an Apple with a higher WHR, consider talking to a dietitian about making changes to your eating patterns, and talk to a fitness instructor about increasing your level of activity.

If you are a Pear with a healthy weight, you can focus on maintaining a balanced diet, being active and feeling good about yourself.

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4How can I help myself to reduce/maintain weight?

If your risk of becoming obese relates to some genetic factors, you cannot change your gene. But you can change your lifestyle: get active and eat healthily. Use our tools to review your eating habit and level of physical activity, and the following tips to see how easy you can become more active and change how you eat.

  • Exercise more at home and at work:
    • Dump the TV remote when watching television; try standing up and stretching during the commercial breaks
    • Walk to and fro while on the phone
    • Vacuum and wash the floor more often
    • Play balls or catch with your kids
    • Simply walking faster
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
    • Get up for a quick walk around whenever you can if you do desk work
    • Go for a brisk walk for about 10 minutes in your lunch break
    • Roll your shoulders and stretch your neck when sitting in front of the computer
  • Do regular physical exercises (refer to Men's Lifestyle - Be Active)
  • Tune your eating habits:
    • Have regular meals.
    • Cut your night meal.
    • Eat slowly. Take smaller bites and chew thoroughly.
    • Watch your portion size. Stop eating as soon as you start to feel full.
    • Only eat at the table. Avoid eating while you are doing other things or watching TV.
    • Snack healthily and wisely. Consider a piece of fruit instead of chips, chocolate or fried foods when snacking
    • Choose low-fat products or switch to plain water.

Start slowly and build up. Even if you don't lose much weight, these lifestyle changes will prevent further weight gain and benefit your overall health. Keep a diary to learn about your eating habits and patterns of physical activity, and use it to spot the problem areas and then deal with them one at a time.

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Source: Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living. Canadian Society for Exercise
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Who Else Can Help?

Health Education Infoline of
the Department of Health: 2833 0111