In 2011, almost one fourth of New York residents self-reported to the CDC that they were obese. With such a large percentage of the state facing this complicated health issue, there is a good chance that most people in Albany either are obese or know someone who is.
Defined as a body mass index that is at or above 30, obesity results from various combinations of genetics, poor diet, composition of bacteria in the GI tract, sedentary lifestyle, and other factors. Although some demographic groups in Albany and elsewhere are affected more than are others, obesity is a public health problem for all Americans.
Because it is often a precursor to other conditions including stroke, sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, obesity is costing Americans more each year in terms of treatments for these related conditions, as well as lost productivity and quality of life. Importantly, these rates are for adults; but obesity among children is on the rise as well.
What Your Doctor May Recommend
To combat obesity, your Albany physician may recommend one or more of the following courses of action: starting an exercise program, making changes to your diet, taking an appetite suppressant or other diet drug, undergoing bariatric surgery.
For the latter option, the most frequently performed types of surgery are the Lap Band (adding a band to decrease the size of the stomach) and gastric bypass (rerouting part of the digestive tract). Other procedures are available, but some are outdated and considered too risky for most patients, whereas others are too new and may only be available in a clinical trial.
To find out if you qualify for weight loss surgery and which type would be most advantageous for you, speak with a surgeon at Albany Medical Center, St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany Memorial, or one of the other health providers in the region.