Higher Risks of Obesity in Singapore For Working Adults

Obesity Singapore

Credits: The Sun Daily

Obesity is a problem faced by many people in Singapore. It is described as the excessive accumulation of body fat, usually due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. As an early indicator, Body Mass Index (BMI) is often used. Those who have a BMI of over 30 are considered obese, while a BMI of over 40 is already categorized as morbidly obese.

Of course, there are many resources available out there to live a healthy life. With that said, not everyone has the luxury of time and money to dedicate themselves to these choices.

Singapore is known to have one of the most competitive economies around the world. Compromising a majority of that is a strong workforce that dedicates most of their time to their work. Sadly, people tend to compromise taking care of themselves in the process of getting their job done.

That’s why a majority of people who are diagnosed with obesity in Singapore are working adults.

Rise of Obesity in Singapore

Obesity Singapore

Credits: Visit Singapore

On average, Singaporeans are heavier and are more likely to overeat. The population is around 3kg heavier than years ago. These numbers are still significant despite more and more people leaning towards exercising. Despite people being more likely to exercise, overeating or eating the unhealthy food outweighs any benefit of physical activity to one’s health.

A majority of the population consume excessive amounts of calories than ever before. They are even more likely to exceed the recommended daily food intake. In 1998, Singaporeans would consume 2,062 calories a day on average, with only a third of them eating more than the recommended daily amount. By 2010, the number increased, and people would consume 2,624 calories a day, where six in 10 exceeded their recommended intake.

Furthermore, adults also tend to eat more once they start working, thus gaining weight. It is said that obesity rates in Singapore generally remain the same among children and teenagers aged between five and 18. Although the number of child obesity cases in the country is alarmingly increasing, it is still more prevalent among those in the working class.

The number of overweight people began to increase starting at age 21 when people start working full-time. People, especially men, usually gain around 4kg within their first decade of starting work. In 2016, 42% of working men (aged 30 to 39) were considered obese, while 28% of female workers were also diagnosed with the condition.

Work Affecting Obesity

Obesity in Working Adults

Credits: Channel News Asia

Diet and physical activity are the two most significant factors when it comes to weight gain. Poor and unhealthy decisions regarding the said aspects increase the risk of obesity. However, unhealthy lifestyle choices are not always a conscious decision. For most working adults, their environment has a massive role in why they gain excessive weight.

People working during night shifts are more likely to gain weight than those who have a regular schedule. As you are working at a period when you’re supposed to be resting, it disrupts how your body functions. Night shift workers gravitate towards food high in sugar to relieve their tiredness and because it is what’s readily available to them. There are little to no locations, which offer healthy options open at night.

Obesity in Working Adults

Credits: Straits Times

Moreover, a night shift leads people to have irregular sleeping patterns. Lack of sleep can be a contributor to the development of obesity. Also, as they are tired from working all night, people are less inclined to exercise during the morning and, instead, take the time to rest.

It does not mean that weight problems only occur to those with a night shift. Due to the sedentary nature of a workplace, working adults tend to gain weight regardless of their schedule. Some job description is more physically demanding than others. However, with access to technology, it’s more likely you’ll find a job that requires nothing but to sit in front of a computer for hours. It does not give them any room for movement throughout the day.

Obesity in Singapore is also not just a physical matter but a psychosocial one as well. A stressful working environment increases the possibility of weight gain. As there’s pressure to perform, workers sacrifice time for meals and dedicate it to accomplishing their task. As a result, people tend to nibble on unhealthy snacks throughout the day or overeat at one sitting instead of having a regular meal pattern consisting of healthy food types. It is recommended to have a friendly and motivating workplace so that workers do not turn to food to seek comfort.

Treatments for Obesity

Sadly, some people have to resign or lose their job due to their weight. It is not just about prejudice on how they look. Their excessive weight affects how they do their job.

Obesity in Singapore can lead to other metabolic conditions such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, lung and breathing problems, sleep apnea, to name a few. Subsequently, there’s a stronger possibility of frequent absenteeism due to health reasons. Your weight can also lessen your productivity at work. So, many working people are looking for solutions to their weight problems.

Diet and exercise is still a good option. Less calorie intake partnered with at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day can do the trick. Although, as established, it doesn’t work for everyone. Maybe because of their body condition or their work does not allow them such luxury.

There are alternative solutions such as surgery. Bariatric surgeries like Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy eliminate a portion of your digestive tract, making you less inclined to crave food, thus less calorie intake. However, these are invasive surgeries and requires you to take time off work to recover fully.

Gastric Bypass in SIngapore
Gastric Bypass in Singapore

For those looking for non-surgical options, a weight loss balloon can help manage obesity in Singapore. A weight loss balloon is placed and inflated to take up space in the stomach, making you eat less and feel full longer. One of the innovative and trusted brands in the market is the Allurion Balloon.

Life as a working adult is stressful in and of itself. The threat of obesity further complicates the whole thing. That’s why it is still necessary to take time to take care of yourself despite the challenges your job brings. Smart and considered choices do not only result in a healthier life. To some extent, it assures you stability and satisfaction in your work. Putting that extra effort benefits you with a worry-free life.
Please seek advice from a qualified doctor to assess eligibility for this program.