Weight loss programme yields positive results

National 2 minutes, 7 seconds


NEARLY 90 per cent of those who took part in the Health Promotion Centre’s weight loss programme from 2010 to 2014 improved their Body Mass Index.

A total of 1,154 people signed up for the programme during the period, with more than half showing health improvements.

Data from the HPC showed that 89 per cent or 1,025 participants under the programme saw a drop in their BMI.

Dr Maria J Magpusao, the medical officer in charge of the programme, said 481 participants managed to lose five per cent of their weight.

The six-month programme is a fitness and health plan to help overweight or obese Bruneians lose about five per cent of their body weight within three months.

Higher BMIs are associated with being overweight or obese, said Dr Magpusao, adding that the extra weight is thought to increase cholesterol levels, blood pressure and the risk of developing coronary artery diseases.

She said studies also found that obese and overweight individuals are less likely to exercise and were more likely to suffer a heart attack compared with people who exercise on a regular basis.

Data from HPC showed that out of 748 participants under the programme who had undergone tests for their fasting blood sugar level, 360 saw a decrease in their blood sugar levels while 128 saw an increase in their glucose levels.

Dr Magpusao said the fasting blood sugar level is the value one gets when testing for blood sugar after an eight-hour fast. For a normal person, fasting blood sugar would also be the ‘baseline’ blood sugar - the level to which blood sugar returns a few hours after every meal.

She also said that out of 756 participants who had issues with their blood cholesterol, 392 saw a decrease in their cholesterol levels after the programme.

She said there are different factors that can affect one’s cholesterol levels including an unhealthy diet, weight gain and not being physically active.

Dr Magpusao said evidence shows that the best way to lose weight is to make long-term changes to your diet and physical activity that result in a steady rate of weight loss.

“Aim to lose weight at around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1 to 2 lbs) until you achieve a healthy BMI,” she said, adding that Bruneians must avoid fad diets and exercise regimens that result in rapid weight loss as this is unlikely to work in the long term.

These kinds of lifestyle changes can’t be easily maintained. Once you stop the regimen, you’re likely to return to old habits and regain the weight.”

The Brunei Times