Nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese. Being obese puts you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.
- Almost 13 million (16.9%) of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 are obese.
- Nearly one in three (31.8%) U.S. children (23.9 million) ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese.
- More than one-third (about 35%) of U.S. adults are obese (more than 78 million adults).
Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, aims to help severely obese people lose weight by shrinking the amount of food that their digestive systems can handle. Bariatric/weight-loss surgeries can provide long-term success for many who have been unable to lose weight through traditional diet and exercise. It’s not a quick-fix answer to all obesity problems, though. The successful bariatric patient has to be committed to long-term diet and lifestyle changes.
Among the many medical issues that are being seen to be helped by these procedures, the decrease in risk of heart problems cannot be overlooked. Studies have found that seven years after they underwent weight-loss surgery, patients as a whole fared better on several measurements of their risk of cardiac problems, and many returned to normal levels. The findings don’t prove that weight-loss surgery reduces the risk of events such as heart attack and stroke, although other research has suggested it does. Still, the findings suggest that bariatric procedures provided plenty of cardiac benefit to the patients.
Several studies suggest that the procedures can reduce the risk of death from heart attack. Obese people who had certain bariatric procedures were less likely than similar people to die from a cardiovascular problem (such as a heart attack) or suffer a first-time heart attack or stroke.
The research is important because it tracks the effects of weight-loss surgery over several years. The procedures may help patients reduce risk through weight loss and an accompanying change in the body’s metabolism and the related workings of the heart.
If you’re in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Heidi Ryan. She and her team of experts can help you find the right treatment for your unique situation and health needs.