Obesity in America is a public health crisis exponentially rising out of control. The annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 with the costs continuing to skyrocket. Over one third of all Americans are obese and the medical costs for obese people are more than $1,400 higher than those who are not. It affects our lives in unimaginable and unforseen ways from sleep apnea, high blood pressure, infertility, and even increased risks of certain cancers! This is on top of the increased incidence of depression, low self esteem, sometimes significantly decreased mobility and the effects it has on our loved ones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35.7% of Americans are obese. Obesity-related conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, are some of the leading causes of preventable death.
Obesity is a medical illness involving many factors that needs to be cured. Obesity was not even labelled an actual medical disease by the American Medical Association until just 2 years ago, after much debate. The severity of obesity is measured by the Body Mass Index or BMI. Roughly, BMI is calculated by your body weight divided by your height. A BMI of over 30 to 40 indicates obesity. A BMI over 40 indicates morbid obesity. There are medical causes for obesity that need to be ruled out such as thyroid and adrenal gland disorders and depression as well as certain medications and genetic factors. It is for this reason that every patient should seek out his or her’s medical professional for tests to rule out these causes.
There have been many diets and medications released to the public in order to combat obesity but the great majority of the winners in these situations have been the pharmaceutical companies and the originators of the diets, and not the patients, to the tune of billions of dollars! Many diets may work for a very short time with some weight loss but, in general, people gain their weight back because the diets are too difficult and time consuming to strictly follow. Of the medications, side effects include heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, rapid heart beat, liver disease, and even birth defects in pregnant women. Aren’t these the issues that we want to prevent by losing weight? Why should we risk these complications with a medicine to lose weight? The goal is to lead a happier and healthier life, is it not?
Weight loss is never an easy or simple task. It takes patience, dedication, support, and hard work. It takes lifestyle changes that not everyone can adjust to easily. One guaranteed way to lose weight is to restrict the amount of calories that we eat. This is the idea behind all of the diet programs in America. This is where surgical options for the right candidates are recommended. The most popular, by far, right now is the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy and the Gastric Band. We invite you to research our website and the entire internet to find out more about these procedures. What everyone needs to know is that in your fight with obesity, you are not alone. There are millions of obese people in this country and it affects all of us with no regard to sex, race, or religion. Having support in your journey to lose weight is the key to being successful!