Obesity is emerging as a health epidemic around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. That figure represents more than 50% of the American adult population. Of this group, 11 million adults suffer from severe obesity.

Obesity is an excess of total body fat, which results from caloric intake that exceeds energy usage. A measurement used to assess health risks of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing body weight (lbs.) by height in inches squared (in2) and multiplying that amount by 704.5. The metric calculation for BMI is kg/m2.

The American Obesity Association reports that obese individuals have a 50-100% increased risk of death as compared to normal weight individuals, with 300,000 to 587,000 deaths each year. This substantial increase in health risks has made obesity the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Morbid Obesity

A person who generally weighs at least twice or 100 pounds more than his or her ideal weight or has a BMI of 40 or more is diagnosed as morbidly obese. The National Institutes of Health report that morbid obesity may considerably reduce life expectancy and is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions or diseases such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Joint Problems
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Cancer
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Respiratory Problems

Treatment Options 

Non-Surgical Treatment 

Dieting, exercise, and medication have long been regarded as the conventional methods to achieve weight loss. Sometimes, these efforts are successful in the short term. However, for people who are morbidly obese, the results rarely last. For many, this can translate into what's called the "yo-yo syndrome," where patients continually gain and lose weight with the possibility of serious psychological and health consequences.

Recent research reveals that conventional methods of weight loss generally fail to produce permanent weight loss. Several studies have shown that patients on diets, exercise programs, or medication are able to lose approximately 10% of their body weight but tend to regain two-thirds of it within one year, and almost all of it within five years.1 Another study found that less than 5% of patients in weight loss programs were able to maintain their reduced weight after five years.2 

Surgical Treatment 

Over the years, weight-loss surgery has proven to be a successful method for the treatment of morbid obesity.3 Surgical options have continued to evolve and Evanston Northwestern Healthcare is pleased to be able to offer patients both the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery and the gastric bypass surgery. These procedures, coupled with your motivation, can help you achieve and maintain significant weight loss, improve your health, and enhance your quality of life.

 

1.  American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) / American College of Endocrinology (ACE) Statement on the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Obesity (1998 Revision). AACE/ACE Obesity Task Force. Endocr Pract. 1998; Vol. 4 No. 5: 297-330.2.  Kramer FM et al. Long-term follow-up of behavioral treatment for obesity: patterms of weight regain among men and women. Int J Obes 1989; 13:123-136.3.  SAGES/ASBS Guidelines for Laparoscopic and Conventional Surgical Treatment of Morbid Obesity. American Society for Bariatric Surgery. http://asbs.org/html/guidelines.html 

Source of information on this web page provided 7/06 by makers of the LAP-BAND® System 

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