The Overweight Epidemic in The US Hispanic Community

It just takes 26 to 44 pounds of excess weigh to be diagnosed with obesity

The Latin or Hispanic population has been the minority group with the highest population growth rate in the United States with more than 50 million people. Health problems for the Latin community have increased at even a faster rate, primarily due to a high incidence of obesity and related diseases. There is no doubt that the environment in which people develop plays an important role in the development of obesity since diet and physical activity patterns are influenced by it. For example the CDC states that, 1 in 4 Hispanic children are obese, Hispanic adolescents born in the US have more than double the probability of becoming obese compared to their peers born outside the US. In the adult population group, although many recognize the problem, few seek professional attention and fewer would consider a surgical approach for the management of their obesity founded in personal, cultural, and economical barriers.

BMI – Body Mass Index

When seeking information about treatment strategies for the management of obesity, we frequently encounter technical terms such as BMI (Body Mass Index), this is a mathematical calculation that utilizes a person’s weight in kg and height in meters (weight in Kg/ height in meters²). If BMI calculation result is 30 or more, that would mean that that person is obese. BMI is a perfect method for determining obesity on everybody, but is widely accepted because of is good correlation with development of obesity related problems and diseases. A BMI of 40 or more is considered sever or morbid obesity or at 35 if illness related to obesity are present.

FAQ – Am I a candidate?

Many patients ask us at Obesity Control Center, if they would qualify for surgical treatment of obesity based on an actual amount of excess weight, or are worried that they would be good candidates based on the common knowledge that they needed at least 50 pounds of excess weight to qualify. Understanding these concepts is very important to be able to make informed decisions, and not have to go thru long waiting periods in were overall health can suffer the consequences of obesity.


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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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