While the obesity problem in the U.S. is often headline news, it’s now a worldwide epidemic.
A new study shows that the entire population has gained 3.3 pounds each year for 40 years, and there are now more than 640 million obese people across the globe. In fact, that number is so high, it has eclipsed the number of people who are dangerously underweight.
Though this is an international epidemic, the U.S. is still one of the most obese countries, with more than 13 percent of the population being morbidly obese and only 2.5 percent being underweight.
“After the 30 years doctors have spent calling out this serious medical condition, the world is starting to take notice.” Dr. Dirk says. “The continued issue is the failure of health organizations to recognize obesity as a medical condition.”
While doctors routinely treat the problem at the root of a patient’s symptoms, they rarely treat obesity the same way, even though its “symptoms” can be detrimental.
“Obesity is a medical condition that directly leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and acid reflux.” Dr. Dirk says. “It indirectly leads to joint pain, spine pain, heart disease, stroke and cancer.”
One solution is to put obesity surgery on the table at the beginning of the conversation between doctor and patient. Dr. Dirk says that recommending diet and exercise has been proven to fail, and by the time surgery is suggested (if it’s suggested at all), the above health effects have already begun to take their toll.
“When obesity becomes detrimental to a person’s health, surgery must be in the top three medical treatments to discuss with a patient,” Dr. Dirk says. “Weight Loss Surgery should be the discussion within one year of making the obesity diagnosis, or sooner when there are associated medical conditions.”