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Weight Loss Surgery Statistics


With 64% of the population being overweight and 30.5% obese, according to the American Obesity Association, indeed there is an obesity epidemic facing the US. The Centers for Disease Control reports that obesity is expected to surpass tobacco as the leading cause of death in the US by 2004, with more than 400,000 deaths due to obesity occurring every single year.

Given the statistics, it is hardly surprising that the National Institute of Health now considers weight loss surgery the only permanent treatment for people who are morbidly obese. A person with a BMI or Body Mass Index greater than 40 is considered to be morbidly obese and a valid candidate for weight loss surgery. Persons with a BMI of 35, who have comorbidities, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea, are also considered candidates for weight loss surgery. Morbidly obese people find it difficult if not impossible to lose weight only by diet and exercise, and surgery is their only hope for leading a normal life.

When a person has weight loss surgery, their weight loss generally reaches its peak between eighteen to twenty four months after the surgery. In a study, patients who had gastric bypass surgery showed a 48-74% excess weight loss 5 years after surgery. The figure continued to exceed 50% after 14 years.

Obesity not only affects the quality of an individual s life, but has also been found to reduce the life span by 13-20 years. In addition, it costs the nation almost $117 million in medical costs and lost wages due to obesity related illness. The epidemic is also affecting children. The number of overweight American children has doubled from the 1970s and almost 15% of all American children and adolescents are now overweight.

Obesity is affecting not only Americans but also the entire world at large. According to the International Obesity Task Force, approximately 300 million people worldwide are obese and 750 million are overweight. The most troublesome fact about these statistics is that 22 million of the world's children under 5 are overweight. The junk food generation is indeed in distress and for many the only way out appears to be weight loss surgery.


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Gastric Sleeve (Obesity Surgery) Patient

Elizabeth, Dallas