Important to consider various perspectives on weight loss

I refer to Ms Genevieve Chua's response (Losing weight isn't just a matter of counting calories; July 13) to my letter (Lifestyle changes key to weight loss; July 9).

As practitioners of bariatric or obesity medicine, it is our responsibility to present a balanced perspective to the public on the topic of slimming.

In the Feb 8, 2016 issue of the Lancet, an authoritative medical journal, it was stated that "foundational to any weight loss effort is lifestyle change, diet and increased physical activity".

It is understandable that a lay person's perspective is coloured by his beliefs, experiences and interests.

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In this instance, Ms Chua has presented the perspective of Dr Jason Fung, a Canadian kidney specialist.

As doctors, we do not rely on just one perspective but on a gamut of research before coming to a conclusion and making recommendations.

The process is rigorous and free of personal biases.

We are not dogmatic and are open to further research to challenge the knowledge of the day.

We do not practise cookbook medicine either.

For some people, obviously the calorie counting approach does not work.

Nor do we advocate that all foods are the same.

Steven Gregory Ang Boon Kiang (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'Important to consider various perspectives on weight loss'. Print Edition | Subscribe