According to the Global Burden of Disease, 39% of adults aged 18 years and above were obese, 4.7 million people died prematurely as a result of obesity in 2017.
Obesity amongst many other definitions is a medical condition in which the body accumulates excess body fat to the extent that it starts to harm health leading to reduced lifespan and increased health issues. Body mass index (BMI) is used to determine whether a person is overweight or obese. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
Factors that can contribute to obesity, include genetics, medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, and lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity.
To fill the gap between the growing number of overweight people and the need to encourage a healthy lifestyle- Beyondbmi, a company from the University College Dublin’s Nova research and innovation hub has developed a programme that incorporates doctor-prescribed obesity medication, nutritional therapy, and one-to-one coaching to encourage patients to hit their weight-loss targets.
Beyondbmi was founded by Dr Harriet Treacy who is the CEO, along with product designer Peter Lumley, obesity scientists Alex Miras and Carel Le Roux, and clinical nutritionist Werd Al-Najim.
“Our mission at Beyondbmi is to provide a scientifically-based alternative to the outdated approach of ‘eat less, move more’ which, research has shown, is an ineffective long-term approach to weight management. For too long, the symptom of hunger associated with excess fat accumulation has been treated as an issue of willpower which causes untold harm to people who often internalize the failure of the treatment as a personal or moral failure. Thankfully, we now have more effective solutions- Dr Treacy”
According to Dr Treacy, Beyondbmi is keeping abreast of recent scientific discoveries as it relates to obesity. A new class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists (GLP-1), which target an area of the brain that regulates appetite have proven to combat the biological and hormonal causes of feeling hungry. When it is added with behavioural treatments and nutritional therapy the drug becomes most effectual.
Beyondbmi Seed Funding
Beyondbmi recently closed a pre-seed funding round led by investors such as Mr Purdy; KPMG partner Eoghan Quigley; CKS Finance founder Conor Sheahan and Grant Thornton head of corporate finance Paddy Dillon raising €525,000.
“As a practising doctor, I have treated hundreds of patients who are experiencing health conditions they are not aware are a direct result of excess body fat, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and infertility. With obesity having reached epidemic proportions in Ireland, according to the World Health Organisation, “momentum is building for better solutions”-Ms. Treacy.
The company says the funds will be used to usher the platform into a new level of effectiveness