A Solution to the Obesity Epidemic
Dr. Kevin Huguet
One of the biggest health risks facing people today is obesity. Numerous health organizations have reported that people with obesity are at an increased risk for several leading causes of death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and stroke among many others.
Roughly 72 million Americans are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This number accounts for nearly 34 percent of adults, more than double the percentage of obese adults 30 years ago. Obesity rates among children are at 17 percent, triple the amount when compared to the same time frame.
These statistics far surpass a goal set in the 1990s by federal health officials to limit the amount of obese Americans to 15 percent in 2010, according to a New York Times article.
Diets, exercise and medicine are commonly used when trying to lose weight. However, their effectiveness has been mixed at best. Americans spend over $33 billion a year on weight-loss products and services. Yet the failure rate for these programs is reported as high as 95 percent after a five year period.
The Bariatric Solution to Weight Loss
Frustrations over the effectiveness of these methods have prompted more people to opt for bariatric surgery instead. Roughly 220,000 Americans with morbid obesity had bariatric weight loss surgery in 2009, according to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Bariatric Surgery is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for morbidly obese people and those with medical conditions such as diabetes.
New research has found significant improvements in urinary function and quality of life among women who have undergone gastric bypass surgery.
Women participating in an Australia-based study started to see the reported improvements roughly three to four months following surgery. Researchers believe the changes in urinary function were triggered by reductions in inner-abdominal pressure caused by weight loss. Both men and women involved in the study saw their weight drop by an average of 50 pounds when assessed roughly 32 months following the surgery.
One of the most popular types of bariatric surgery is adjustable gastric banding. Also known as LapBand surgery, this procedure places a small, inflatable silicone pouch at the top of the stomach that holds approximately two or three tablespoons. As a result, food flows through the stomach at a slower pace, giving the patient the feeling that they are full much quicker than usual. An FDA advisory committee recently recommended the FDA approve LapBand surgery as safe for use in patients suffering with lower levels of obesity.
For more information on LapBand surgery, contact one of the bariatric surgeons in your area.
Kevin Huguet, of Bay Surgical Specialists, is a
in St. Petersburg, FL and is the author of this article about
bariatric weight loss surgery
, specifically gastric banding. Bay Surgical Specialists is a group practice of board-certified surgeons specializing in Hernia Repair, laparoscopic surgery and breast surgery.