Written on December 13, 2022 by Sendra Yang, PharmD, MBA. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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The prevalence of obesity in the United States increased over the years to a staggering 41.9% in 2020 . The impact of obesity on such a significant portion of the population lends itself to an estimated 2019 annual medical cost of obesity in the United States of almost $173 billion . The medical costs for an adult with obesity were about $1,861 higher than for a person who was not obese. Obesity affects Black adults more than white, Hispanic, and Asian ethnicities. Adults aged 40 to 59 years also have a higher prevalence of obesity.
Obesity or overweight is when your weight is higher than what is termed healthy for a given height . A screening tool that healthcare providers can use to measure for obesity is called the body mass index or BMI. Based on the calculated BMI on your height and weight, you can be classified as the following :
Obesity can also be further divided into subclasses :
Obesity is considered a chronic disease that can lead to a wide range of complications [4,5]. Obesity promotes a constant state of low-grade inflammation in the body. It is estimated to significantly decrease how long you can live by 5 to 10 years . Being overweight or obese can cause many health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, and depression, to name a few.
Every day, millions of people are looking for ways to lose weight. About 60% to 70% of Americans who are obese try to lose weight annually . A 5% to 10% weight loss can improve your health and inspire you to make further changes for better overall well-being . Losing the extra weight can lead to living longer and fewer health complications. Specifically, weight loss can prevent the development of diabetes, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and even diminish the risk of death attributed to heart health and diseases.
One of the ways obese people can lose weight is with surgery. However, surgery is invasive and can cause its own complications. During weight loss surgery, complications such as breakage, internal bleeding, leakage, perforation of the stomach or intestines, and spleen or other organ damage may occur . For a weight loss surgery called bariatric surgery, after operations and long-term risks include :
Additionally, not all medical insurance will cover weight loss surgery costs. You will have to check with your own coverage to determine how much you will have to pay.
You can lose weight without surgery. Below is a list of some ways you can trim some weight off without ever having to undergo surgery:
It’s essential that your healthcare provider is involved in your weight loss journey. The interactions and support from them are critical to your success . The use of telehealth is an option to provide the necessary support you need from your provider.
You can check in on your health and wellness with Everlywell. Everlywell offers telehealth to give you access to providers, including an option for weight loss. We also work with a network of labs to get you access to various tests. Learn more about Everlywell and what is available for you.
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