“Healthy Obesity”… There Is No Such Thing!

50% or more of “healthy” obese people will eventually get sick.

Until a recent scientific publication in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, no previous studies have examined the long-term consequences of obesity in people with absence of related illness or risk factor clustering in a two-decade period.

The concept of “healthy obesity” is a misleading concept in that most obese iniduals become progressively less healthy over time. Its clinical value is misleading since it rests on the assumption that is a stable physiological state, rather than a transient state towards obesity related health deterioration.

Research

Researchers studied 2,521 men and women between the ages of 39 and 62, measuring each participant’s body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose and insulin resistance. Healthy obesity was defined as obesity with no metabolic risk factors. More than 51 percent of the healthy obese participants became unhealthy obese over the 20-year study period1.

The findings in the study further emphasizes the need to treat all obese people, we cannot assume anymore that anyone suffering from obesity and has no related comorbidities, illness or risk factors will maintain good health status over time.

For most “healthy” obese, health declines over time, and in many cases action to regain a normal weight is not taken or is not indicated until the development of excess weight related illness or comorbidities for example: Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gastro esophageal reflux disease, high cholesterol, heart related problems, etc. Treatment opportunities should not be delayed until health conditions worsen over time, which can in turn lead to added risk and or complications, specially in case of choosing a bariatric surgery plan.

Treatment

Bariatric surgery, with its new techniques and technologies, in recent years, has yield very low complication and mortality rates and has gained more support by the none surgical medical community, such as cardiologist, internal medicine specialist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist and many other specialties. Weight loss surgery is certainly very appealing for patients as well,  access and reachable outcome data have addressed patients concerns and fears about weight loss surgery.

This study has shown that “healthy obesity” should be viewed as a transient phase towards an unhealthy state or, in other words, it demonstrated that people have to prioritize the treatment of obesity even if nothing else seems to be affected by it, since it will eventually affect the health of an otherwise healthy inidual.

Treatment for “healthy” obesity should not be delayed since most people with this condition will see their health decline over time. This is not a new concept but rather scientific proof of the logical assumption that most people battling with obesity will eventually have health related illnesses.


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OCC’s epidemiologist is closely monitoring the COVID-19 status and is actively issuing updates as they are available. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are the most trusted sources online.  While the CDC has announced new mask protocols for vaccinated individuals, there will be no changes for our office protocols for patients, guests, and staff members as the announcement does not apply to hospitals or medical facilities. Masks are still a requirement for all patients, guests and staff at our facility.

As we reinitiate weight loss surgery, we are constantly adapting and installing new and updated safety measures.

Weight loss surgery is medically necessary.

Bariatric Surgery and the clash of two pandemics.   

Major metabolic and bariatric surgery Societies and colleges globally are now calling for the safe resumption of bariatric and metabolic surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over. 

The sooner bariatric surgery can be safely performed, the quicker obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases can be reduced or resolved as they are not only chronic they are also progressive.  Obesity is also linked to more than 40 diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and at least 13 different types of cancer.

A recent statement from the ASMBS says “Before COVID-19 began, it was clear that patients with obesity were ‘safer through surgery.’ In the era of COVID-19, ‘safer through surgery’ for patients with obesity may prove to be even more important than before.” Obesity and Metabolic syndrome have been identified as an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes including death among COVID-19 patients.

See here for full COVID-19 update. 

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