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Obesity

What is obesity?

Obesity is a medical condition where body fat has accumulated to such an extent that it may have a negative effect on your health. We typically use the Body Mass Index (BMI) number as a measurement for obesity. The 'index' in the BMI is a ratio dividing a person's weight (using kilograms) by the square of the persons height (using meters).

 

                               BMI = weight/height^2

A number in the range of 25-30 is considered "overweight" and a number higher than 30 is considered "obese." The BMI is not a perfect measure for weight or health, but it is commonly used in medical estimation. 

Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases and conditions, particularly cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and depression. 

There are many causes of obesity and most are multifactorial. Some factors are genetic, some are metabolic, and some are behavioral. Caloric intake can plan an important role in many cases of obesity.

Why is it important to talk about obesity?

Obesity is especially important in our clinic because it can increase the chances of developing arthritis and arthritis related pain in your joints.

 

It can also lead to surgical complications including added difficulty performing surgery and higher risk of post operative complications including wound healing.

 

Finally, our operative facility has a safety limit and we are not able to perform surgery on patients with higher BMIs because of these increased risks.

How is obesity treated?

Obesity is treatable through a combination of social changes and personal choices. The main treatment options involve diet control, monitoring your caloric and nutrition intake, and exercising to promote physical fitness. ​At our clinic, we are able to refer you to meet with a dietitian to develop a healthy eating plan or with surgical services to help with weight control. 

 

We recommend that our patients with smartphone access use a free nutrition app that allows for recording the nutritional value and caloric content of "everything" they eat each day. This nutrition log can be very helpful and informative after just a few weeks of logging information. This information can then be used to develop healthy eating habits which are very important to obtaining a better BMI. 

References

1. Berrington de Gonzalez A, Hartge P, Cerhan JR, et al. (December 2010). "Body-mass index and mortality among 1.46 million white adults". N. Engl. J. Med. 363 (23): 2211–9.

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