Obese people no longer need to feel they are the minority. Today, more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight. While moderate weight gain poses no problem for many people, those with severe obesity risk premature death or significant disability due to weight-related complications such as diabetes, elevated cholesterol, sleep disorders, certain kinds of cancer, breathing problems, and strain on the back, legs and feet. Generally speaking, a severely obese person is someone 100 pounds or more overweight or more than twice his or her ideal body weight, as measured on standard height-and-weight tables.
There is hope for those unable to reduce their weight through drugs or dieting. It is bariatric or obesity surgery, the one method proven clinically effective. Patients who have weight loss operations generally lose two-thirds of their excess weight within two years, and with proper follow-up most maintain substantially lower weight permanently.
For more information about Bariatric surgery, access the Hennepin Bariatric Center & Obesity Program.