So many of us struggle with our weight. Does your conscience “weigh” on you? Do you look in the mirror and say “I need to lose weight.” Does your weight yo-yo?
The numbers about being overweight are shocking!
- 61% of Americans are overweight or obese.
- 300,000 deaths a year in the US can be linked to obesity.
- $100 billion a year is drained from the US economy in the form of health care costs and other expenses associated with obesity.
It’s not that we aren’t trying to trim, tuck, and tone. Americans spend over $34 billion a year on weight-loss products and services. We are fighting the battle of the bulge, but losing.
Health Effects of Obesity
- Increased burden on joints which can aggravate degenerative arthritis.
- Increased risk with surgery.
Obesity is directly linked to diseases that are associated with a shorter life span. Disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes — all of which are risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. Obesity is also linked to respiratory issues (such as sleep apnea), fatty liver disease, gallstones, and metabolic syndrome. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of CANCER including prostate, colon and uterus.
How Necessary is it for You to Lose Weight?
“Overfat” is more dangerous to health than “overweight.” Emphasis on the health risks of excess fat vs. excess weight has led to the popularity of body-fat testing. We perform an annual measurement of your “body composition” during your annual physical (not performed if you had a total joint replacement). The body mass index (BMI) is a better indicator of body fat than weight alone. We can help assess your body composition, including your BMI, to help you assess your risks. We will weigh other factors to assess your risks; such as the following:
- Do you have a health condition associated with being overweight?
- Do you have a health condition that would benefit from weight loss?
- Does your weight lead to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, surgery, cancer, etc.?
How Do I Lose Weight?
Things you can do to improve your chances of losing weight, AND keeping the weight off:
- Make a commitment.
- Get your priorities straight — this will help you succeed in changing your habits.
- Set realistic goals.
- Learn to enjoy more healthy foods.
- Get active and stay active. Consistency is key!
Are Drugs the Answer?
Prescription diet drugs are generally advised only for people who have health problems related to excess weight and are enrolled in a weight-management program. I have not found diet medications to be effective on a long-term basis.
Popular Weight-Loss Methods
Unfortunately, popular weight-loss methods don’t promote behavior change. In general, they fail to promote safe, permanent loss of fat because they eliminate our responsibility for changing our eating and exercise behaviors. Examples include, diet pills, special foods or combinations and very low-calorie diets.
Recommended Weight-Management Programs
When looking at or considering a weight-management program, look for these five criteria:
- Reasonable weight change goals.
- Physician participation.
- Help in changing lifestyle and making behavioral changes.
- Upfront information on fees.
If you have any questions or want to pursue a successful weight-management program, please call Dr. Guy to schedule an appointment.