We all know that carrying too much weight can be bad for us. It can be a sensitive subject for some with some people experiencing a lower self-esteem as a result. Being overweight can also put you at risk of many chronic health problems. One in four people in the UK are classified as obese with many others being overweight with BMIs higher than 25. Being overweight you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and increase your chances of having a stroke.
Orlistat, Xenical and Alli are licensed medications used to treat obesity. They work by reducing the amount of dietary fat absorbed by the small intestine into the body tissues by blocking enzymes called lipases. The dietary fat leaves the body when you go to the toilet. This treatment can stop approximately 30% of dietary fat from absorbing through the gut. If taken with a highly fatty meal, the amount blocked from absorption can be substantial.
Orlistat, Xenical and Alli ARE NOT:
All of the above are regularly seen in search engine results. Only Orlistat, Xenical, Alli and Orlos are licensed products for sale in the UK. These 4 products contain the active ingredient "Orlistat". Xenical and Generic Orlistat capsules are clinically equivalent and exactly the same strength (both 120mg per capsule), however Xenical was the first brand to produce orlistat and that is why it is more expensive. Alli and Orlos treatments are half the strength (both 60mg per tablet).
BMI - Body Mass Index
How to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index)
Orlistat (Xenical) is only suitable for use by patients who have a BMI greater the 30, or by patients with a BMI greater than 28 but also have an underlying risk condition i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes etc.
You can calculate your BMI by the following equation:
BMI = Weight (Kg) / Height (m) x Height (m)
or CLICK HERE for the NHS online calculator.
BMI is a good indicator of obesity in most individuals. However it does have limitations. Patients who are highly muscular (e.g. bodybuilders / athletes) may have a very high BMI but cannot be classed as obese as their body fat percentage is usually low.