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Most weight loss programs are based on diet, exercise and behavior change. For the morbidly obese individual, these methods alone most often are not enough to cause substantial weight loss and health improvement, or to help maintain weight loss that does occur. New research shows that the body often resists weight loss efforts for underlying hormonal and metabolic reasons, with a “set point” that often keeps the individual at an overweight level despite efforts to lose weight.
Studies show that weight-loss surgery interrupts these metabolic patterns and result in reduced hunger, improved “satiety” or satisfaction with meals, and ultimately to reduce fat stores and weight. Other studies have found additional benefits for Type 2 diabetic patients, who may have reduced need for medication, and less complications from this debilitating disease. These results have caused the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the International Diabetes Foundation, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists to endorse weight-loss surgery as a treatment for Type 2 diabetics with morbid obesity.
Morbid obesity is a complex chronic disease. Weight-loss surgery should be viewed as a method for alleviating this debilitating disease. Having surgery is a serious decision. The information provided is intended to help you become more informed, and to learn how to the start the process.
A ratio of weight to height called Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally used to classify the degree of overweight. An individual is considered to have morbid obesity at a BMI of 40 or at 35 if health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or obstructive sleep apnea are also present. If your BMI is in this range, you may be a candidate for weight-loss surgery.
Weight-loss surgery is only the first step in a long-term commitment to maintaining health. A healthy diet and physical activity play an equally important part of any comprehensive weight-loss strategy.
Yale New Haven Hospital offers a multidisciplinary program with coaching and support in nutrition, exercise and lifestyle change that is tailored to meet your individual needs.
Participating in one of our live webinars is your first step on your weight-loss journey. Led by board-certified bariatric surgeons, these free, informational webinars will cover all you need to know about how your health can improve through weight-loss surgery. Visit our webinar page for details.