The Facts About Obesity
Obesity is a term used to describe the condition of having excessive body fat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 93 million Americans, or almost 40% of the U.S. population, are affected by obesity1. The causes, outcomes, and effects of obesity are very complex. Diagnosis of obesity is typically based upon body mass index (BMI). The Weight Loss Clinic at DFW Bariatric Institute specializes in obesity treatment for patients in the Dallas, Texas area.
What does your BMI mean?
|BMI < 20||under weight|
|BMI 20-24.9||healthy weight|
|BMI 25-29.9||over weight|
|BMI 35-39.9||severe obesity|
|BMI 40-49.9||morbid obesity|
|BMI > 50||super morbid obesity|
What Causes Obesity?
Obesity rarely has a singular cause, as there are a variety of factors that can contribute to obesity. Some elements that can lead to obesity include:
- Diet Excess calorie intake, especially in a diet abundant in added sugars, fried foods, and simple carbohydrates, can directly contribute to obesity.
- Physical Activity Level A sedentary lifestyle, in which fewer calories are used by the body than are taken in, can cause obesity and a lack of physical activity can lead to health complications.
- Medical Conditions and Medications Certain diseases, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, and some prescription medications, including antidepressants and corticosteroids, can cause weight gain.
- Environment Even when individuals know the factors that contribute to obesity, it can be difficult to make lifestyle changes if they are not supported by their family or community.
- Genetics Although lifestyle choices are the strongest causations of obesity, some researchers believe there is a genetic component that can predispose individuals to gain weight.
Health Effects of Obesity
Obesity can increase the likelihood of developing many life-threatening diseases and conditions. The negative health conditions that often occur with, or are complicated by, obesity are called comorbidities. Obesity comorbidities include:2
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Certain Types of Cancer, including colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- Heart Disease
- Gallbladder Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Joint Pain
Tips to Prevent or Manage Obesity
- Plan Healthy Meals and Snacks It is easier to make smart choices when you plan ahead. There are many diet plans that tout weight loss, but most medical professionals agree on the advantages of a diet rich in vegetables and lean protein with some low-fat dairy, fruits and whole grains and very few processed foods. Get our free meal planning template or use the DFW six day meal plan for inspiration.
- Track Your Food Intake Planning to eat well is a great foundation for preventing or managing obesity, but how often have you planned to eat healthy only to go off track? Keeping a food journal or using an app like myfitnesspal can help you stay accountable and give you a true picture of your diet.
- Stay Hydrated Adequate water intake can control appetite and improve energy. Keep a water bottle handy and choose water, seltzer, or unsweetened iced tea. Avoid sugary drinks, like soda and juice, which can add empty calories, and alcohol which can be dehydrating.
- Get Active The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults perform 150 minutes per week3 of aerobic activity and strength training 2 days per week. Depending on your fitness level, this could be walking or a more challenging workout routine. Find something that you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
- Build Community Share your goals and plan healthy meals and activities with friends and family. You can seek additional support in online communities. Check out the DFW Facebook and Instagram for tips and motivation and visit our blog for healthy recipes.
Understanding An Obesity Diagnosis
Many people struggle to lose weight, but for people seeking to lose 5 or 10 pounds that goal may be for aesthetic reasons. For people with obesity, losing weight can be critically important to maintain or restore health. If your height and weight is indicative of obesity, but you have not been diagnosed by a medical professional, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician so they can evaluate your overall health.
If you have been diagnosed with obesity, you may be wondering what steps to take. Remember that an obesity diagnosis does not indicate failure on your part. The science behind metabolism, nutrition, and weight gain is complex. The best thing you can do is to focus on your health and follow any advice that your doctor has given you. If you are unsuccessful at weight loss even while adhering to diet and exercise guidelines, then it may be time to see an obesity medicine specialist.
Medical Treatments for Obesity
Obesity is prevalent enough in the United States that over 20 million people may be candidates for bariatric surgery. However, fewer than 1% of them undergo weight loss surgery.4 If patients had a better understanding of the myths and facts about weight loss treatment, then more of them may seek help. How do you know when it is time to consult a weight loss doctor for obesity treatment? If you are concerned about the health effects of obesity, a consultation with an experienced weight loss surgeon can help you understand your options. At DFW Bariatric Institute, we offer a range of weight loss treatments as part of our commitment to comprehensive, personalized care:
Bariatric Surgery Options
Contact DFW Bariatric Institute for Obesity Treatment in the Dallas Area
If you are looking for a solution to obesity, the weight loss specialists at DFW Bariatric Institute may be able to help you find a path to weight loss success. Fill out our free insurance check form or contact us to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient locations in Frisco, Colleyville, or Rockwall, Texas.