Tackling obesity for people with haemophilia

Welcome back to the Changing Haemophilia blog! This month we’ll be discussing how obesity can impact the lives of people with haemophilia and the importance of staying active and healthy eating.

 


Published 2 October 2018 | 3 min read
 


Welcome back to the Changing Haemophilia blog! This month we’ll be discussing how obesity can impact the lives of people with haemophilia and the importance of staying active and healthy eating.

Obesity is an increasing issue both in the general population and amongst people with haemophilia — 50% of whom are now estimated to be overweight or obese.¹ As well as the general health implications of obesity, such as cardiovascular risks, in people with haemophilia obesity can affect joint health too. There’s also the additional emotional burden of further chronic conditions to consider.

The good news is that losing just 5–10% of body weight has been suggested as a target to provide health benefits for people with haemophilia.² ⁴ Starting with just this small amount can reduce the risk of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthropathy.³ ⁴ There are a variety of ways you can lose weight and maintain a healthy weight in the long-term:

 

- Become more active²

 

Exercising and becoming more physically active is a good way to lose excess weight and improve not only your overall health, but also the health of your joints.

Evidence has shown that incorporating forms of endurance training (150 minutes per week) and resistance training (two to three times per week) can be beneficial for weight loss in people with haemophilia. Of course, it’s important to avoid overly strenuous exercises that may increase your risk of bleeds, however there’s plenty of low-impact exercises to have a go at, such as swimming or walking.²

You can discuss the most suitable exercise plan for you with your HCP. We have also created a range of simple exercises that you can do at home to start off your exercise regimen!

Revisit your eating habits²

Reducing your calorie intake and having a healthy diet is useful for anyone who is trying to lose weight. It’s recommended that a caloric range of 1200–1500 kcal/day for women or 1500–1800 kcal/day for men is a suitable target for weight loss.²

Diet is particularly important, however, if you have haemophilia. Having a healthy, regular diet with balanced content including proteins, carbohydrates and good fats is beneficial.⁴ ⁵ It is also important to stay hydrated and drink the right amount of fluids⁴ — not too much, but not too little!

Have a look at Brigitte’s healthy banana smoothie recipe for inspiration on healthy eating!

Your HCP is a great starting point to help you develop an exercise and dietary plan that works best for you and will help you achieve your weight loss goals.


References

  1. Young G. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program 2012; 2012:362–368.
  2. Kahan S, et al. Haemophilia 2017; 23(6):812–820.
  3. Jensen MD, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014; 63(25 Pt B):2985–3023.
  4. Wilding J, et al. Obesity reviews 2018. doi: 10.1111/obr.12746.
  5. TalkingJoints: let’s talk healthy eating. 2014. Available at
    https://www.novonordisk.com/content/dam/Denmark/HQ/aboutus/documents/
    ChangingHaemophilia/TalkingJoints_brochure_lets_talk_healthy_eating_screen.pdf
    .