According to data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of adults in the United States are obese. Obesity is a condition characterized by having too much fat in the body. Using the Body Mass Index (BMI), a person with a BMI of 30 and above is considered obese.
Factors Leading to Obesity
There are several factors that contribute to the United States’ growing problem with obesity. Some of these factors include:
- Consumption of too many calories
The average person’s daily calorie intake has almost doubled in the last 10 years. Over-eating is a main cause of overweight and obesity.
- Sedentary lifestyle
The increasing number of modern conveniences has caused many people to become less active. The lack of physical activity can affect how the hormones work, especially with food. A sedentary lifestyle can also lead to unstable insulin levels which can cause weight gain.
- Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep doubles one’s risk of becoming obese. Sleep deprivation can cause hormonal changes which can lead a person to overeat.
Health Risks Associated with Obesity
Since 2013, the American Medical Association has officially classified obesity as a disease. It is a chronic disease with many health problems associated with it. These include heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, gout, some cancers, and breathing problems like sleep apnea.
Initially, lifestyle changes like adjusting one’s diet and physical activity, are recommended for people who are obese. While lifestyle changes work for some obese individuals, they may not work for others especially those with a BMI of 40 and above with comorbidities. For patients who belong in this category, bariatric surgery is often recommended.
Bariatric surgery aids in weight loss as it can restrict the amount of food one can consume and cause malabsorption of nutrients. For many patients, the risk of death from obesity-related conditions is greater than the risks associated with the procedure, a key reason why the number of patients electing to have bariatric surgery continues to increase. Patients who have had the procedure report improvements in their health, quality of life, social interactions, employment opportunities, and overall well-being.
If you are struggling with obesity, the staff at Foothills Weight Loss Specialists or New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery can evaluate your individual eligibility to recommend the best treatment option for you.