11. Why is it important to treat obesity?

Carrying excess weight can be uncomfortable, inconvenient and socially stigmatized. However, the most important reasons to treat obesity are not cosmetic. Obesity and overweight are associated with significant health risks including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, sleep apnea, kidney disease, fatty liver, asthma, arthritis, gallstones, gout, depression, infertility and many cancers. These health problems cause financial burdens due to necessary medical care and prescriptions as well as lost productivity at work. It is estimated the U.S. health care expenditures for obesity exceed $270 billion! (Society of Actuaries, 2010)

And $50 billion is spent annually on weight loss products in the United States!

So why do we continue to gain weight? The answer is complex and involves genetic, environmental, political and financial components. However, there is good news! There are many organizations like the ABOM, OMA , OAC (Obesity Action Coalition), AMA (American Medical Association), ADA (American Diabetes Association, AHA (American Heart Association) and many others that are actively researching and advocating for improved treatment options. Their advancements are directly communicated to your bariatrician so we can better treat each individual patient.

There is very clear medical evidence that shows that weight loss of just 10% can significantly reduce your risk of these medical complications of excess weight.

Benjamin Franklin was right when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”