Clinical Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery
Over one third of adults in the United States are obese, or nearly 80,000,000 people. A prevalent condition across the country that has been on the rise over the last several decades, clinical obesity is not a to be taken lightly as the side effects can be extremely serious. Linked to significant health complications like strokes, type 2 diabetes, and even certain kinds of cancers, obesity can shorten a person’s lifespan by as much as 14 years.
In an effort to promote treatments for obesity, doctors and health researchers have come up with a way to differentiate between healthy weights and unhealthy weights, generally using Body Mass Index, or BMI, calculators. In some cases, other measurements can be used, including waist circumference, to help doctors determine obesity.
Defining and Measuring Obesity
Obesity is a weight-related disease in which an accumulation of fat has surpassed normal levels to the point that overall health becomes a concern. While what determines obesity differs from person to person, based on genetics, height, fitness, and medical conditions, most doctors use BMI as a commonplace way to measure the characteristics of individuals of an average weight versus obese individuals.
Calculated by dividing an individual’s weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters, BMI is a basic indicator of the relationship between height and weight that can shed insight into a person’s physical stature. In the United States, a BMI over 25 is considered overweight, a BMI over 30 is considered obese, and BMI of 40 or higher is considered extreme obesity.
Despite the popularity of BMI for measuring clinical obesity, other methods can also be used with patients. For example, in men, a waist circumference over 40 inches is considered obese, while a waist circumference of 35 inches in women can indicate obesity. Some doctors prefer to use additional alternatives, like underwater weighing, waist to hip ratio, and bio electric impedance.
When is Bariatric Surgery Appropriate?
For most individuals, a BMI in the obese range is required for surgery. Most doctors are willing to recommend surgery for clinical obesity in patients who have a BMI of 40 or higher with no weight-related health conditions, or those with a BMI of 35 or higher with one or more weight-related health conditions. Although the circumstances for bariatric surgery vary from doctor to doctor and patient to patient, obesity is a prerequisite for virtually every weight loss surgery alternative.
Is bariatric surgery for clinical obesity the right choice to remedy your your weight loss needs? For more information about the benefits of weight loss surgery and what Olde Del Mar Surgical can do for you, register for an online seminar or call at 858-457-4917 now to see what we can do to help you on your journey to better health.