Obesity and Your Health
Obesity rates have risen to epidemic levels in the United States. Almost one-third of the adult population in the U.S. (32%) is considered obese.31
Obesity can lead to serious health problems
Obesity interferes with basic physical functions, such as breathing and exercising. Moreover, it can lead to serious health problems, as these obesity statistics show:
- People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and high levels of blood fats (triglycerides) and LDL (bad cholesterol). All three are separate risk factors for heart disease and stroke.29
- People who are overweight may have an increased risk of developing several types of cancer.29
- Mortality rates for men and women with morbid obesity (a condition in which the body mass index is 40 or more, which is roughly equal to 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight) are 50% to 100% higher than for people at a healthy weight.32
The stigma associated with obesity can affect emotional health. Research shows that obesity discrimination exists in the workplace, at school, in social situations, and even in healthcare settings. Because the bias against obesity can be subtle, the accumulated effects may not be obvious.
The cause of obesity is complex
Obesity is often misinterpreted as laziness and a lack of self-discipline. The belief that dieting and exercise are all that’s needed to overcome obesity is simply not true. Diet and exercise are often not enough to help people lose weight and keep it off. Research has shown that genetics may be an underlying cause of morbid obesity for many people. Other causes may include metabolic disorders and hormonal imbalances.33
Traditional obesity treatment options often fail
Research shows that traditional treatment options, such as diet, exercise, and behavior modification, are relatively ineffective in helping patients with morbid obesity achieve and maintain weight loss over the long term.9 Bariatric surgery is typically more effective. Compared with other treatments, bariatric surgery has provided the longest period of sustained weight loss in patients for whom all other options failed.34 A recent meta-analysis showed that 2 years after bariatric surgery, patients had lost 59% of their excess body weight.35
Bariatric surgery isn’t for everyone. You must be qualified for weight loss surgery and ready to make a commitment to a new healthy and active lifestyle. Only you and your weight loss surgeon can evaluate your situation and decide if surgery is right for you.
A viable option when traditional obesity treatments fail
If you are overweight by 100 pounds or more, you’ve probably tried several diets. For many people struggling with morbid obesity, weight loss eventually leads to weight gain, frustration, and disappointment. If this sounds like your experience, weight loss surgery may be an appropriate option for you. Find out if you’re a candidate for bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery can improve patients’ health
Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve or resolve obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea.9
Quality of life improvements
Clinical studies of laparoscopic (minimally invasive) bariatric surgery patients found that they felt better, spent more time doing recreational and physical activities, benefited from enhanced productivity and economic opportunities, and had more self-confidence than they did prior to surgery.9
To better understand how weight loss surgery has affected people’s lives, see Weight Loss Stories.
Weight loss surgery yields cost savings over time
A recent study showed that people suffering from obesity pay 36% more for healthcare coverage and 77% more for medications than people at a healthier weight. These increases are higher than the healthcare and medications costs associated with smoking or drinking.29 Losing weight through bariatric surgery may help improve your health and reduce these costs.
A recent study showed that bariatric surgery paid for itself in about 2 years.11 One important reason is that weight loss surgery helps improve or resolve conditions associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol,9 so patients save money on related prescription drugs, doctor visits, and hospital visits.11 In fact, monthly savings associated with laparoscopic (minimally invasive) bariatric surgery were shown to reach more than $900 as early as 13 months following surgery.11
Learn more about weight loss surgery
If you’re considering bariatric surgery, we encourage you to attend an information seminar hosted by a bariatric clinic. You’ll learn about surgical weight loss options and you’ll meet bariatric team members who will support you before and long after your surgery. You may also hear from patients who have had weight loss surgery. There’s no pressure to make a commitment—and no better way to get the answers you’re looking for. Of course, family and friends are welcome, too.
Use our seminar finder to locate a seminar in your area, and register to ensure that you have a seat because seminars often fill up.
Want to talk it over? We’re ready to help. Call us at 1-855-2-REALIZE if you have questions or concerns or want help finding a seminar near you.