According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 percent of Americans 20 years old and older are obese. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20 percent or more above the normal range for the person’s age and height. The most common measure of obesity is body mass index or BMI, a number calculated based on height and weight. A person is considered obese if he or she has a BMI of 30 or above. Many say the nation is facing an obesity epidemic, which is resulting in skyrocketing medical costs and loss of productivity.
To battle obesity, many are turning to medical weight loss procedures and surgical options. Norton Healthcare recently opened the Norton Weight Management Center at 1000 Dupont Road in Louisville. People who want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle are evaluated to find the most appropriate weight loss option for them. Some will work with a doctor to develop a plan that includes medication, diet and exercise to meet their health goals and lifestyle. Others may be candidates for surgical weight loss procedures, such as bypass or banding.
Gastric bypass and gastric banding are two of the more common surgical procedures. These are considered if individuals have a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 with a serious medical condition that might improve with weight loss. Obesity is linked to a number of serious illnesses, including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease and certain cancers.
Obesity costs our nation billions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity annually. (Related health care costs are estimated to grow to between $860.7 billion to $956.9 billion by 2030 and account for 16 to 18 percent of all medical expenditures.)