How much do you weigh? Take your weight in pounds, and then multiply it by 703. How tall are you? Take your height in inches and multiply it by itself. Now divide the first result by the second result. If the number you come up with is higher than 25, then you have a serious disease.
The disease is obesity — a medical condition characterized by excess weight. If your body mass index (BMI – the number you just calculated) is over 25, you are considered overweight; if you have a BMI of 30 or above, you’re obese
And it’s no joke. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and may lead to other life-threatening illnesses called co-morbidities, such type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart conditions, and hypertension.
We’re in trouble, Hoosiers. Across Indiana, 60% of the adult population is overweight or obese. Obviously, this can’t go on.
Want to lose weight? It’s easy: just eat less and exercise more. A sensible diet plus thirty minutes or more of moderate physical activity, five or more days per week – that’s the ticket to weight loss. No secret there.
But how long can you keep it up? For most people, the answer is “not very long”. Many try to eat right and exercise more using willpower alone, but few succeed. Others turn to trendy diets, TV exercise gadgets, or the use of so-called weight loss pills, but the few who manage to lose weight by these means almost always quickly regain it – often wrecking their health in the process.
Willpower alone is not enough. Gimmicks don’t work. For most, a program of long-term, comprehensive medical care is necessary to cure obesity. And for some, this includes weight loss surgery.
About Weight Loss Surgery
Surgical weight loss – also known as bariatric surgery — has been proven to help ease (and sometimes eliminate) obesity-related health problems. It can also help those who are obese but have no co-morbidities. There are three types of surgery available: gastric bypass, gastric banding, and gastric sleeve surgery, all of which are usually performed laparoscopically. They work by altering the patient’s stomach and/or bowel in order to physically restrict their food intake. The patient feels hungry less often and feels full more quickly, and thus loses weight.
But it’s no free ride. Weight loss surgery only works as part of a comprehensive medical care program based upon changes in the patient’s lifestyle. Those who go back to their old eating habits and lack of activity will soon find themselves obese again. It’s also not “routine surgery” – no such thing exists. As with all surgical procedures, weight loss surgery exposes the patient to the possibility of major postoperative complications, including the possibility of unforeseen death. The risks and possible outcomes of these procedures should be examined in consultation with a physician prior to making any decision.
60% of the adult population of Indiana is overweight or obese. We can do better, Hoosiers. Indianans must show our fellow Americans that we care about our health and our future. By making a firm commitment to a healthier way of living, we can do just that – and beat obesity in our state.