WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY

Obesity Facts

Health Consequences

People who are obese, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:

  • All causes of death (mortality)
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning

Obesity Rates Remain High

  • More than a third of adults (34.9%) were obese as of 2011-2012. More than two-thirds of adults were overweight or obese (68.6%).
  • Nearly 40 percent of middle-aged adults, ages 40 to 59, are obese.
  • More than 6% of adults are severely obese (BMI of 40 or higher).
  • More women than men, ages 20 and over, have higher rates of obesity and extreme obesity.

The average American is more than 24 pounds heavier today than in 1960.

The Healthcare Costs of Obesity

Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the United States. Currently, estimates for these costs range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year. In addition, obesity is associated with job absenteeism, costing approximately $4.3 billion annually and with lower productivity while at work, costing employers $506 per obese worker per year.

As a person’s BMI increases, so do the number of sick days, medical claims and healthcare costs. For instance:

  • Obese adults spend 42 percent more on direct healthcare costs than adults who are a healthy weight.
  • Per capita healthcare costs for severely or morbidly obese adults (BMI >40) are 81 percent higher than for healthy weight adults. In 2000, around $11 billion was spent on medical expenditures for morbidly obese U.S. adults.
  • Moderately obese (BMI between 30 and 35) individuals are more than twice as likely as healthy weight individuals to be prescribed prescription pharmaceuticals to manage medical conditions.
  • Costs for patients presenting at emergency rooms with chest pains are 41 percent higher for severely obese patients, 28 percent higher for obese patients and 22 percent higher for overweight patients than for healthy- weight patients.

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Notes
  1. 1 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of Obesity among Adults: United States, 2011-2012. NCHS Data Brief, 131, 2013.
  2. 2 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. JAMA, 311(8):806-814, 2014.
  3. 3 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of Obesity among Adults: United States, 2011-2012. NCHS Data Brief, 131, 2013.
  4. 4 Fryar DC, Carroll MD, Ogden CL. Prevalence of overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity among adults: United States, 1960-1962 through 2011-2012. National Center for Health Statistics Health E-Stat. 2014. (accessed May 2015).
  5. 5,6 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of Obesity among Adults: United States, 2011-2012. NCHS Data Brief, 131, 2013.
  6. 7 Fryar DC, Carroll MD, Ogden CL. Prevalence of overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity among adults: United States, 1960-1962 through 2011-2012. National Center for Health Statistics Health E-Stat. 2014. (accessed May 2015).
  7. 8 Odgen CL. Childhood Obesity in the United States: The Magnitude of the Problem. Power Point. (accessed June 2013).
  8. 9 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. JAMA, 311(8):806-814, 2014.
  9. 10 Skinner AC, Skelton J. Prevalence and Trends in Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Children in the United States, 1999-2012. JAMA Pediatrics, doi:10.1001/ jamapediatrics.2014.21, 2014.
  10. 11 Fryar CD, Carroll MD and Ogden, CL. Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity Among Adults: United States, Trends 1960-1962 Through 2009-2010. National Center for Health Statistics E-Stat, 2012.
  11. 12 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. JAMA, 311(8):806-814, 2014.

Do You Know Your BMI?

Although some people question whether Body Mass Index (BMI) is the best and most accurate way to determine whether someone is considered Normal Weight, Overweight or Obese, it remains the most important measurement in the eyes of insurance companies when they determine whether or not someone is eligible for bariatric surgery. Although each insurance provider has a different policy, which is subject to change, the general rule of thumb to qualify for surgery is as follows:

  • BMI 30-39.9* with one obesity related comorbidity that can include but may not be limited to Type II Diabetes, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and/or Hypertension coronary artery disease
  • BMI greater than or equal to 40
*Patients with a BMI of 30-34.9 are subjected to insurance discretion.