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Weighing up the health risks of being overweight

Updated: Apr 30

Weight scale

Being overweight can lead to a number of health issues. We discuss some of those conditions here as well as the weight management programs, coaching and support your Unichem team offers.

Your weight and osteoarthritis

If you suffer from osteoarthritis of the joints and are overweight, any weight loss will be helpful and reduce the amount of force that’s placed on them. You’ll get more pain-free movement and it could decrease the amount of painkillers you need to take.

A weight loss of just 5 kg could decrease the odds of developing osteoarthritis of the knee by half.

Your weight and high blood pressure

As many as half of overweight people have high blood pressure simply as a result of being overweight. High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and other health complications.

With a simple lifestyle change it’s possible to decrease your blood pressure with less medication, and sometimes without any medication at all. Studies show that if you’re overweight, your blood pressure may start to decrease after just a 1 kg weight loss. Losing 4.5 kg or more can have the same effect as taking blood pressure medication.

Your weight and type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a disease which affects how the body uses blood glucose. It’s important to keep blood glucose levels under control to help ensure that complications from diabetes, such as heart disease, eye damage and nerve pain, are less likely to occur.

People with diabetes usually keep their blood glucose levels under control by taking medications which may include insulin. Research shows that losing weight can help to reduce, delay or for some, even do away with diabetes medications.

There’s also compelling news for people with prediabetes. Recent research shows that dropping body weight by 10% within 6 months of the diagnosis dramatically reduces the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes. Even moderate weight loss shows positive effects. Losing 5 - 10% of body weight may reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 54% (in overweight or obese patients only).

Please note that dieting with type 2 diabetes can be complex and needs to be done safely with a health professional so talk to your Unichem Pharmacist or doctor.

Your weight and high cholesterol

Having high blood cholesterol puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke. Today’s medicines can reduce blood cholesterol levels to reduce these risks significantly.

Lowering weight can also lower cholesterol levels. Losing even 3 - 6 kg may help to lower your total cholesterol.

Managing your weight with Unichem

If you’ve been thinking about your own weight management, talk to us. Your Unichem Pharmacy team is here to create a personalised plan to suit you.


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