It is no surprise that excess weight and obesity have become an epidemic in The United States, and quite frankly, worldwide. Today, upwards of 30% of all American adults are obese, and two-thirds of Americans are overweight. The result has been a staggering increase in the number of obesity-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease and even certain forms of cancer, not to mention lifestyle issues, lost productivity at work, and significantly increased cost due to medical visits, medications, and more.
Sadly, children are not immune to this problem either. An ever-greater number of children are developing the myriad of comorbidities associated with obesity and excess weight, and we are seeing ever-younger patients at our offices.
As cardiologists, it is incumbent upon us to identify the risk factors of cardiovascular disease and try to help our patients address them in a stepwise approach, starting with the least invasive and most conservative options possible. When it comes to maintaining a proper weight, diet and exercise are the safest options for any patient. We encourage our patients to follow a Mediterranean diet with intermittent fasting and pursue a structured cardio and strength training regimen. The result is often that patients lose a significant amount of weight and improve virtually all their health markers.
However, diet and exercise change is not always easy, and many patients, after succeeding in losing some weight, lose their will to continue, regain the weight and sometimes put even more weight back on. For these patients, medical intervention, including prescription weight loss drugs and structured weight loss programs, may be a practical next step.
For those suffering from severe obesity, the possibility of bariatric or weight loss surgery must often be explored, especially when the risks of living with their excess weight significantly exceed the risks and considerations of surgery.
As with all of our treatments, we take great care to offer our patients suitable and sustainable options for their particular situations. However, as Americans, with collective health markedly worsening, we see daily reminders of how excess weight can negatively affect us. An example is an increase in the risk of COVID complications for those suffering from obesity. Complications like this force us to take a closer and more serious look at the toll our lifestyle choices have taken on our society.
To learn more about our weight management programs and how we can help you improve your cardiovascular health through structured weight loss, please schedule a consultation with one of our cardiologists.