The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation based on your height and weight. It is what we use to determine what body weight category you are in, whether your weight could potentially have adverse effects on your health and whether you qualify medically for bariatric surgery. The BMI is also used by health insurance companies to determine who will be able to acquire authorization for surgery.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
About 70% of all Americans are overweight. Nearly one third of the US population has obesity, a BMI of 30 or greater. Over 15 million adults in this country have the disease of Severe Obesity, with a BMI of 35 or greater, qualifying them medically for bariatric surgery. Childhood obesity and related health disorders are also increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore, today, obesity is one of our nation’s most serious health issues.
“WHY DO I HAVE THIS DISEASE?”
Severe Obesity is a complex metabolic disease, all the causes of which are not yet completely known. What is known is that genetics plays an instrumental role. In addition, there is an elaborate array of chemicals and hormones produced by the stomach and intestine, pancreas, liver, the stored fat itself and in the brain, and nerve signals from the stomach and intestine to the brain that all interact to determine each of our own unique characteristics of metabolism, calorie utilization and fat storage. In addition, there are specific hormones that determine each person’s degree of hunger and satiety. These are some of the reasons why many individuals with obesity are “always hungry” or “never feel full.” All these factors combine to cause some people to be predisposed, or at risk, for developing the DISEASE of Severe Obesity, especially in a society where high carbohydrate, high fat, calorie-dense foods are so prevalent.
SURGERY IS THE BEST “MEDICINE”
When your BMI is over 35, the likelihood of meaningful and sustained weight loss with dieting is less than 5%. In fact, all non-surgical treatments, including dieting, medications, behavior modification and hormonal treatments, are very unlikely to be effective, meaning they are unlikely to help you get to a healthy weight (a BMI at least below 30) and stay there for the rest of your life. Remember, your Severe Obesity is a disease and a lifelong problem that requires a treatment with lasting effectiveness, in other words, a lifelong solution. By far the MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENT for the great majority of those suffering form Severe Obesity is bariatric surgery. Not only does bariatric surgery cause significant and lasting weight loss, but usually produces early and lasting elimination or significant improvement of most comorbidities.