It is no secret that the United States is currently in the throes of an obesity epidemic. It is estimated that at least two thirds of all American adults can be considered either overweight or obese. If a person’s weight is more than 20% of what it should be for their height, they are classified as obese. Worse, we are passing this on to our children. Nearly one in three children are considered to be overweight or obese, according to the American Heart Association. Because of all of this excessive weight, in the U.S., bariatric surgeons perform over 200,000 weight loss surgeries every year. The weight loss surgery cost may be high, it is not an inexpensive procedure, the cost of not performing this operations may be higher.
Who is weight loss surgery for?
There are several weight loss surgery options but in general, doctors will consider performing certain procedures on people if they are extremely obese with a body mass index (BMI) that is at least 40. These individuals must have tried to lose weight through diet and exercise and failed.
If a person has a BMI that is between 35 to 39.9 but they have other weight related health issues such as type 2 diabetes, severe sleep apnea and/or high blood pressure, they may also be considered for a weight loss surgery. Some people with BMIs lower than 34 can be considered if they have other health issues that are clearly due to their weight.
At the end of the day, bariatric surgeons look at the person and decide if the benefits outweigh the weight loss surgery cost. This is a very serious operation and is not just for casual weight loss. Yes, not being able to lose weight through diet and exercise is one of the criteria and yes, most Americans who diet try to lose weight at least four times every year but not all of those people meet the gastric bypass requirements.
The benefits of weight loss surgery:
- Better health: Being overweight can be very bad for your health. The risk of diabetes goes up 20 times for people who are obese, according to the Harvard Medical School. In addition, the risk of heat disease, high blood pressure, gallstones and stroke all go up substantially for people who are obese. Moreover, they found a direct link between BMI and the risk of developing these conditions. As you would expect, the higher a person’s BMI Is, the better their chances are that they will develop one of these conditions. All of this risk drops when people lose weight. That alone makes the weight loss surgery cost worth it.
- Better quality of life: People who are obese or extremely obese often miss out on a lot of things that life has to offer. Their decreased mobility means they cannot go certain places. For instance, flying on an airplane can be incredibly difficult, uncomfortable and embarrassing for people who are obese or extremely obese. For many people, losing weight through medical weight loss programs gives them back their lives. That makes it worth the weight loss surgery cost.
- Lowers the risk of death. Medical weight loss solutions like bariatric surgery prolong people’s lives by reducing their risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease. People who have the weight loss surgery extends the lives of the people who have had it.
Weight loss surgery is not the end of the road in terms of the weight loss journey. Often, it is not even the first step. The first step is when a person makes the decision that they want to live a better life and they go to their doctor to see about having this procedure done. Because this is such a major surgery, not everyone can have ti right away. You have to be healthy enough for the operation. Many people have to lose some weight before they are able to undergo the procedure. Once they have done that and gone through it, the journey is still in the early stages. This needs to be part of a larger change in people’s lives. A number of people who go through this will gain some of the weight back. The people who are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle succeed.