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The Impact Of Obesity on Your Health

November 18, 2021

Obesity is an increasing problem in the United States. It can impact those who are young or old and crosses both geographic and economic boundaries.  It is important to understand that obesity can lead to many conditions that can be quite detrimental to health.

How Would We Define Obesity? 

Many confuse the terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’.  While both refer to carrying excess body fat accumulation, a person is considered to be overweight when their Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 25.  The Body Mass Index is a calculation using a person's weight and height.

Obesity, on the other hand, occurs when a BMI is over 30.  As a BMI increases, so do the associated health risk factors.  In fact, obesity increases the risk of a variety of associated diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Root Causes of Obesity

In order to understand obesity, it is important to understand the root causes of it. 

Obesity can occur for a number of reasons:

  • Calorie intake (from diet) is greater than calorie outflow (from exercise).
  • The environment, genetics, health conditions, and medications can also influence weight. 
  • Stress, emotional factors, and poor sleep can have an effect on weight too.

Diet and exercise play a crucial role in weight control. Those with healthy eating habits and regular exercise can often reduce or avoid obesity.  

One’s genetics and environment can also affect their overall weight.  Those with a family history of obesity or an environment of unhealthy eating habits may have an increased chance of obesity themselves.

Working to Eliminate Obesity 

Struggling with excess weight and obesity can be a difficult task to conquer. However, it is a task that is both doable and important to health.

The first steps might include speaking with your doctor to determine a weight loss plan that is right for you.  This can often include improving your diet, increasing your exercise, and closely monitoring your results.

For those that have attempted weight loss with no results in the past, the possibility of bariatric surgery exists.  Bariatric surgery is a procedure that changes how you digest and absorb nutrients so that your body can become healthier without relying heavily on dieting or exercising alone. 

The Three Types of Bariatric Surgeries are:

  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) 
  • Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y) 
  • Sleeve gastrectomy

Weight-related health problems that bariatric surgery helps with are heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. 

The following requirements often must be met in order to be considered for bariatric surgery:

  • Your BMI is 40 or higher (extreme obesity). 
  • Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea. 

In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.

Statistics on Bariatric Surgery Success

The success of the surgery is sometimes defined as achieving a 50% loss of more from your body and maintaining that level for at least five years. There will be a variation in clinical data for each of these procedures, so it's best to consult a weight loss surgeon and discuss the best option for you before undergoing this procedure.

The Bottom Line

Obesity is an epidemic that impacts the health of millions of people every year. In fact, obesity has become a leading cause of preventable death in America. If you are looking for solutions to your weight-loss challenges, we encourage you to reach out to our team at Reedsburg Area Medical Center.   Dr. Sarah Pergande, a bariatric surgeon, can determine if weight loss surgery may be a possibility for you.





https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html#:~:text=Obesity%20is%20 serious%20because%20it,and%20some%20 types%20of%20 cancer