America’s obesity epidemic ranks as one of the worst in the world. Using 2007 to 2012 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a recent study estimated the staggering proportions of adults that the 2013 Obesity Guidelines recommend for various weight-loss treatments. Now, health care providers can suggest effective and practical therapies for obese patients to drop extra pounds while improving their overall health.
Guidelines Offer Hope to Millions
Researchers report that an estimated 140 million adult Americans, or around 65 percent of the population, need behavioral weight-loss therapy. Some 83 percent (about 116 million) of those also need pharmacotherapy. About 25 percent (32 million) of the people who could benefit from both remedy types are potential bariatric surgery candidates.
The Obesity Guidelines focus on crucial questions regarding treatments while providing evidence-based advice on topics including:
- Which Americans need to lose weight?
- How can doctors determine the amount of weight loss that’s necessary to improve patients’ health?
- What are the most appropriate and effective weight-reduction methods?
Dr. June Stevens, Ph.D., the lead researcher, and her team weren’t surprised to learn that massive numbers of Americans need to take off excess pounds. They used nationally characteristic data to estimate how many non-pregnant adults age 20 and up should lose weight. The scientists based their recommendations on an algorithm combining height, weight, and waist circumference with risk factors such as hypertension, lipid levels, and diabetes. By comparing various demographics, they found that the most likely weight-loss candidates were African-American and Hispanic men over age 45 without college degrees who had health insurance through Medicaid and Medicare.
These results highlight obesity as a serious illness that the public, health care providers, and policymakers should take seriously, notes Obesity Journal’s Dr. Donna Ryan, M.D. The exorbitant numbers of affected Americans underscore the need for widespread obesity management upgrades in primary care settings. With over half of adults receiving weight-loss therapy recommendations, all physicians and registered dietitians should examine and recommend these guidelines to obese patients. Fortunately, well-researched solutions are accessible for most obese adults needing weight-loss interventions. But health insurance companies continue to deny millions of obese Americans coverage for proven weight-loss remedies.
Various organizations are advocating changes. The Obesity Society invites others to join its Advocacy Action Center efforts. New pharmacotherapy guidelines expand on the Obesity Guidelines. This combination will provide a foundation for obesity treatment, which has been lacking clinically. Seeking support from a provider can encourage weight-loss improvement, Ryan notes. Uniting diet and exercising with FDA-approved obesity medications can promote weight loss, especially if lifestyle modifications alone haven’t been successful.
The intention of both guidelines is to provide evidence-based tools to help doctors recognize and treat any patients who might need extra support. You and your physician should decide together if adding medical or surgical solutions is right for you, Ryan advises. Obesity increases your risks of developing over 30 additional illnesses including hypertension, heart problems, and diabetes. Order prescription drugs for these conditions and a host of other widespread maladies from Canada Drug Pharmacy. To find multiple medication options, shop Drugs by Condition.
Six Weight-Loss Steps
If you exceed your ideal body weight by 100 or more pounds or if your body mass index (BMI) is over 40, research shows that you’re morbidly obese. Losing that much weight takes time and requires persistence. These six proven tips may help improve your efforts.
- Consume less to decrease your daily calories.Eliminating 500 calories per day will enable you to drop 1 pound per week. Generally, a 1- or 2-pound weekly weight loss is healthy. But combining diet and exercise can encourage more weight loss during your initial weeks.
- Eat whole nutrient-dense foods.Vegetables should cover half of your dinner plate. Fill a quarter with a heaping whole-grain serving and the other fourth with a small, lean protein portion. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products over full-fat varieties.
- Replace sugary drinks with plenty of water.One study discovered that drinking around 7 cups of water per day helped subjects eat almost 200 less calories than people who consumed under one daily cup.
- Substitute healthy fats for saturated ones.That means choosing lean poultry, unsalted seeds and nuts, and olive oil instead of fatty animal products. Read nutrition labels to eliminate processed foods that contain unhealthy trans fats.
- Work out.The Department of Health and Human Services advises that most healthy adults should engage in moderate aerobic activities like walking briskly and swimming for 150 or more minutes per week or vigorous aerobics such as running and jogging for 75 minutes. For some people, 300 minutes of moderate exercising is necessary to drop or sustain weight loss. Each workout period should be 10 or more minutes long. Practice safety by starting slowly and increasing your session length as your fitness improves.
- Discuss bariatric surgery with your doctor. A Mayo Clinic study showed that this procedure provided long-term heart failure symptom reduction and quality of life improvements for morbidly obese patients.