Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic, leading to increased rates of disability, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. If you struggle with obesity, you may be wondering if bariatric surgery is the right choice for you.
Indecision is often one of the primary reasons many people hesitate to get bariatric surgery. While it’s essential to think your decision through thoroughly, you don’t want to put surgery off forever. The longer you delay, the longer you will have to live with debilitating physical and mental aspects of obesity.
To help you make an informed decision, let’s look at 10 facts about obesity you should know before weight loss surgery.
10 facts about obesity you should know
1. Obesity can cause pregnancy complications.
Obesity can have a significant impact on fertility in women due to its ability to inhibit ovulation. Additionally, obesity can affect the outcome of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), a series of procedures used to help with fertility. Simply put, the higher your body mass index (BMI), the greater your chance of experiencing pregnancy complications.
2. Multiple factors contribute to obesity.
Obesity is far more complicated than it appears on the surface. A series of factors contribute to obesity, including the environment, socioeconomic status, genetics, and more. Even your mental health can play a significant role in excessive weight gain.
For example, people who have psychological disorders – such as depression – may struggle when it comes to controlling themselves while eating.
You should also consider that those who are financially stable will likely have the money to buy healthy foods. In contrast, individuals who struggle financially may only have enough money to eat unhealthy, calorie-rich foods.
Obesity is often out of the control of the individual. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t combat the issue with exercise, healthier food choices, and surgery.
3. The United States is the most obese nation in North America.
It should come as no surprise that the United States is the most obese country in North America. Approximately 36.2% of the US population has a BMI of over 30. That’s around 78 million adults and 13 million children.
Many people mistakenly believe that the United States is the most obese nation in the world, but the US actually falls into the 12th place position, with the countries of Nauru, the Cook Islands, and Palau taking the top three positions as the most obese nations in the world with 61%, 55.9%, and 55.3% of their populations struggling with obesity respectively.
4. Lack of sleep is a significant contributor to obesity.
Lack of sleep can have a considerable impact on your weight loss endeavors and can lead to obesity in several ways. For one, you’re more likely to eat when you’re fatigued or tired, especially when it comes to craving sweets. This is because your body requires a form of energy to help keep you awake.
Second, when you lack sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone that tends to show up in higher concentrations in people who have two hours of sleep or less. You should strive to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
5. Obesity can have a significant impact on your mental health.
Often the conversation revolving around obesity focuses on its implications on health and wellness, but rarely are the psychological effects ever talked about.
It’s not entirely uncommon for people who struggle with unhealthy levels of body fat to experience depression and self-loathing. Mental health and obesity are recently being correlated, as more research is done on the subject.
6. Obesity is more deadly than smoking.
You read that correctly. Obesity is more deadly than smoking. As most people know, smoking can cause a variety of disorders such as heart disease and cancer. Despite this, obesity has statistically led to more fatalities than cigarettes.
Extreme obesity significantly increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes, amongst other deadly health complications. This fact is a deadly serious reminder of the dangers obesity can pose to your long-term health.
7. Obesity is a result of an imbalance in calories consumed vs. calories expended.
Let’s face it. Many of us live a sedentary lifestyle. That means that we spend most of our time sitting in a single spot engaging in everyday activities such as reading, playing video games, driving, watching TV, sitting in a cubicle, etc.
With the increase in energy-dense foods that are high in calories, it’s only natural that obesity is as widespread as it is.
When we eat more calories than we burn, the body converts the excess into fat. That’s why healthy eating is only one part of the equation when fighting weight gain. You also need to exercise regularly to combat the imbalance of calories consumed vs. calories expended.
8. Over 30% of the world’s population is overweight.
As the global obesity epidemic grows worse with each passing year, new reports show that approximately two billion people around the world are overweight or obese.
The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that nearly a third of the population of the globe struggles with unhealthy levels of body fat. Subsequently, instances of depression, respiratory complications, Type 2 diabetes, and major cancers have been on the rise around the globe, which may be a direct result of the obesity epidemic.
9. Obesity can significantly decrease your lifespan.
A series of long-term studies found that obesity can dramatically reduce your lifespan. According to the various studies, those with a BMI of 40 tend to lose 6 ½ years on their overall lifespan.
The study goes on to reveal that the heavier you are, the more years you can potentially lose on your lifespan. Those with a BMI of 55 – the extreme side of obesity – can likely lose up to 14 years on their lifespan.
10. Obesity could potentially lead to memory loss.
Studies show that a higher BMI is often associated with poorer episodic memory, or an inability to recall events from the past.
While more research is needed to get to the heart of the matter, the small study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology suggested that “people who are overweight may experience memory slightly less vividly or in less detail.” As mentioned, more research is needed before these facts can be confirmed or denied.
What can you do to fight obesity?
Obesity is a life-threatening epidemic that should be taken seriously. One way to combat obesity is with bariatric surgery. Surgery will help you lose weight quickly, and can significantly reduce your chances of developing a life-threatening disease such as Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
If you’re interested in learning more about weight loss surgery, reach out to the friendly team at Olde Del Mar Surgical. We offer three different types of weight loss surgeries, and we accept most insurance plans.
If you’re ready to get your life back on track, request a consultation today.