A Thomson Reuters health poll revealed that over the last five years, one in three Americans chose weight loss as a resolution for the New Year. Approximately half of these people desired to lose anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 35.7 percent of the adults in the United States fit into the category of obesity. Studies suggest that around 17 percent of the country’s children from the age of adolescence and younger also suffer from the diagnosis. Physicians generally consider a body mass index of over 30 as obese.
Distant Past Linked to Food Cravings
Physicians suggest that a lack of self-control does not entirely account for the weight problem in America. Some believe that people have ingrained physiological requirements that date back to prehistoric times. Early populations commonly used many more calories during the course of a day. Many times throughout history, cultures endured famine. High-calorie foods ensured that sufficient fat stores provided energy during lean times.
Speculation lies in whether the human body ever relinquished the need for high-calorie foods. The amount of high calorie, high-fat foods available combined with the growing obesity problem leaves many to wonder. While exercise and diet remain the most recommended methods for achieving weight loss, these options are not always sufficient for individuals suffering from morbid obesity. These patients often benefit from bariatric surgery.
Bariatric Surgery Options
Before consideration as a candidate for surgery, a bariatric surgeon Clifton evaluates each potential patient. Individuals having a body mass index that exceeds 40 generally have the option of bariatric surgery. People having a body mass index of 35 or higher and a diagnosis of diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea may also qualify for surgery.
The varied types of weight loss surgery include:
* Gastric bypass entails attaching the esophagus and small intestine to a small pouch having a capacity of approximately one ounce. Surgeons then attach the remaining section of the small intestine, found beneath the detached stomach, to the new structure. This structure forms the biliopancreatic limb, which provides the bile and pancreatic fluids necessary for proper digestion. Following this surgery, patients typically lose up to 80 percent of their existing weight within the first year.
* Lap sleeve gastrectomy involves reducing the size of the stomach into a narrow, sleeve-like tube attached to the intestines. Often combined with a biliopancreatic diversion or with a duodenal switch, this procedure remains the second most successful weight loss option.
* Lap band surgery requires placing an inflatable band around the upper portion of the stomach, which creates a small pouch. Following the procedure, individuals feel fuller sooner. Injecting or extracting saline tightens or loosens the band as needed. Understandably, this surgery has the least amount of risk. However, patients generally only lose up to 50 percent of their extra weight.
Even with assistive surgery, patients must incorporate a healthy diet combined with physical activity for successful weight loss. The first step in achieving a healthier weight includes consulting with a health care provider.