is currently the most common chronic disease in the United States. An
estimated 97 million adults in the US are obese. Some 55% of the adult
population are obese! Similar percentages exist for the United Kingdom.
In fact the UK has the largest level of obesity in Europe. Weight gain
is dependent on a person's energy intake being greater than energy
expenditure. One pound (0.45 kg) is equal to 3,500 calories. Therefore,
a person consuming 500 calories more than he or she expends daily will
gain 1 lb a week.
factors can lead to obesity and morbid obesity. The five main causes
are outlined below :
- Poor Eating Habits
Your eating habits can affect your weight. Failure to eat a
balanced diet, eating fast-food and fatty snacks between meals
can all cause obesity. Drinking too many high-calorie soft
drinks can also contribute to obesity. When you eat the same
amount of food that your body needs, your weight stays the same.
If you get more energy from your food than you need, the body
stores the excess calories as fat. If your body never uses the
extra calories, you will gain weight.
- Lack of Exercise
Failure to exercise is a contributing factor in the development
of obesity. Individuals who are overweight find it harder and
harder to exercise accentuating the problem.
- Family History
If you have family members that are obese, then you have a
higher risk for obesity. Many people report being obese since
childhood. In 1994, scientists found a gene in mice that was
linked to obesity. This gene produces the protein leptin, which
contributes to feeling full. Mice with a defective gene eat
large amounts of food. When these studies were applied to
humans, the results could not be reproduced. It seems unlikely
that a single gene can explain obesity. Genetic research does
show that a number of metabolic processes don't work as well in
obese people as they do in others. These include how fat is
burned and feelings of hunger and fullness.
- Psychological Factors
Many individuals use food as a source of "comfort"
for psychological stress. They may eat in times of grief or
anxiety. After a diet fails, some people feel a sense of failure
and will gain more weight than they lost with the diet. This can
result in a vicious cycle of eating and dieting that will only
make the person gain more weight.
- Metabolic Disorders
Every person has a slightly different metabolism, meaning that
they use calories to a different degree of efficiency.
Metabolism refers to how your body gets energy from food. Many
factors affect metabolism. For instance, trouble with your
thyroid gland can change your metabolism and lead to obesity or
morbid obesity. Metabolic disorders are rarely the major cause
of obesity, but can contribute to an individual who is otherwise
associated with many other health and social problems, including :
- Diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, coronary artery
disease, hyperlipidemia, angina, high cholesterol levels. These
all increase the chances of having a stroke and of dying
prematurely and diabetes also increases the risks of kidney
failure and blindness.
- Osteoarthritis, particularly of the back, hips, knees and
- Lower back pain.
- Obesity hypoventilation syndrome and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- where a person unknowingly stops breathing for periods while
asleep. This leads to very restless sleep, loud snoring, daytime
headaches and a risk of falling asleep during the day.
- Gallstones & gallbladder disease, gout, reflux
- Urinary stress incontinence, menstrual irregularity and
infertility in women
- Risks of developing various forms of cancer are increased
(breast, colon, uterine).
- Depression and lack of confidence
- Social discrimination which can ultimately affect their
employment opportunities and earning potential
say, a sensible diet and exercise is the most effective way in
controlling your weight. It is essential to not eat too much junk
food and to ensure you get the basic nutrition your body needs. They
say you should eat at least two portions of fruit and vegetables
Despite undertaking these regimes unfortunately there are many who
are unable, perhaps through a lack of will power or other
debilitating conditions to lose the weight they desperately need to.
The Medical Profession now know that the medical condition of morbid
obesity is a complex disorder, and not simply due to over-eating.
The vast majority of people living in the Western World eat more
calories than they need but it is only a small proportion that
relentlessly lay down every excess calorie in their fat stores. Most
people have a mechanism, by which their body knows when their stores
have been refilled, but there is an unfortunate group of people
where this mechanism is defective, and when they eat it can be
likened to filling up the bath with the overflow blocked off. It may
be possible for this serious disorder to be corrected by obesity
surgery and it requires a qualified obesity surgeon to give advice
on this kind of weight loss treatment.
Overweight and obesity are not the same; rather, they are different
points on a continuum of weight ranging from being underweight to
being morbidly obese. The percentage of people who fit into these
two categories, overweight and obese, is determined by Body Mass
Index (BMI). BMI is a measure of weight proportionate to height. BMI
is considered a useful measurement of the amount of body fat.
Occasionally, some very muscular people may have a BMI in the
overweight range. However, these people are not considered
overweight because muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue.
Generally, BMI can be considered an effective way to evaluate
whether a person is overweight or obese.
In the UK it was recently announced by the NHS - "Obese
'can be refused operations'. Forty percent of doctors agree obese
patients should be refused joint surgery if resources are limited, a
The same proportion felt smokers and drinkers could be barred
from certain procedures, the British Medical Association's magazine
BMA News found. The 225 doctors polled said the NHS realistically
could not treat everyone. But they said treatment could be denied
only for clinical reasons, rather than because of cos"t. See
full story here, as reported by the BBC -
body-mass index ("BMI") measures your height/weight ratio.
It is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height
in meters. For instance, if your height is 1.82 meters, the divisor
of the calculation will be (1.82 * 1.82) = 3.3124. If you weigh 70.5
kilograms, then your BMI is 21.3 (70.5 / 3.3124).
Am I A Candidate for Weight Reduction Surgery?
Enter your height and weight in the table below. If the
corresponding number is between 35 and 60 then you may be a
candidate for this procedure. If you are interested in weight
reduction surgery, please contact us
||Associated Health Risks
||18.5 - 25
||25 - 30
||30 - 35
||35 - 40
||40 - 50
Please note that at this time, patients with BMI greater than 35
(with medical co-morbidities) or all patients with BMI greater than
40 are candidates for Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
(Lap-Band) at the Taj Medical Group's Clinics.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI),
a BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal while a BMI of more
than 25 is considered overweight. A person is considered obese if
the BMI is greater than 30 and morbidly obese if the BMI is 40 or
greater. In general, after the age of 50, a man's weight stabilizes
and even drops slightly between the ages of 60 and 74. However, a
woman's weight continues to increase until age 60 and then begins to
Another measure of obesity is the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). The WHR
is a measurement tool that looks at the proportion of fat stored on
the waist, and hips and buttocks. The waist circumference indicates
abdominal fat. A waist circumference over 40 inches in men and over
35 inches in women may increase the risk for heart disease and other
diseases associated with being overweight.
Consult your physician with questions regarding healthy body
most logical approach for losing weight is to eat less, eat more
sensibly, and exercise more. If you are severely obese, this
approach may not be enough to ensure lasting success. Sticking to a
diet and exercise plan is difficult. The decision to abandon a diet
is commonly made during times of stress or anxiety. Many who lose
weight gain it back quickly when the diet ends. The cycle of losing
weight and gaining it back is called the yo-yo effect. While
temporary weight loss can help, the yo-yo effect can also make it
harder to lose weight in the future. This repeated failure of
permanent weight loss leads to feelings disappointment and
A physician or a dietician can help you change your lifestyle. A
program of improved eating habits and exercise are critical factors
in any successful weight reduction program. Recent published
scientific reports (Annals of Internal Medicine - Jan 2005) document
that non-operative methods alone have not been effective in
achieving a medically significant long-term weight loss in morbidly
obese adults. The average medical weight reduction trial is a 10-12
week study with average weight loss of 2.5 kg. The use of behaviour
modification, diet and exercise show that the initial optimistic
results have not been sustained. Most commercial weight loss
programs (WeightWatchers, Jenny Craig, Dr. Bernstein) suffer from
high dropout and failure rates. The cost of these programs
contributes to frustration if a person fails to achieve their goals.
Dieting often causes depression, anxiety, irritability, weakness
and preoccupation with food. The treatment goal of any treatment
plan for morbid obesity should be an improvement in health, achieved
by a durable weight loss that reduces life threatening risk factors
and improves performance of activities of daily living.
Water Help Me Lose Weight?
No doubt about it; if water is one of the keys for weight loss, we
all need to know. Water is basically free and extremely abundant.
So, does drinking a certain quantity of water help one lose weight?
Yes, in a way... read on...
Water is an irreplaceable part of your diet. Its primary function
is to transport nutrients and waste about your body. Almost
everything in your body is in a solution of water. The way your body
grows, repairs, and functions is to first transport material to and
from the places where this material is needed. Water is the medium.
Water Makes Weight Loss Possible -
Weight loss involves
metabolizing the tissues already present in and on your body. If you
lose weight successfully, this metabolism will involve the
consumption of body fat and the exclusion of skeletal muscle.
Metabolizing this body fat involves transport of the fat to cells
where it can be used, transport of the fat across cell barriers,
breakdown and chemical reaction of the fat, and transport of waste
materials out of the body. You need lots of clean water to do all of
Weight Loss Requires Water -
Of course you know that you
need to start with clean water to wash and rinse clothes in your
washing machine. If you attempt to wash clothes starting with dirty
clothes and dirty water, you will not get those clothes too clean.
Likewise; you need lots of clean water to keep your body internally
clean. Just as an automobile produces exhaust while burning
gasoline, your body produces waste while burning fat. Provide your
kidneys and liver with ample water to clean your body. That's a half
a gallon to a gallon of water daily.
Water Does Not Make You Lose Weight -
Water makes weight
loss possible. For that matter, water makes life on this planet
possible. Water is especially important when you are losing weight
but it is not chemically involved in your weight loss process. As
long as you drink enough water, weight loss will happen smoothly.
Drinking lots and lots of water will have no additional benefits to
gastric band or sometimes referred to more fully as laparoscopic
adjustable gastric band - LAGB is the least invasive weight loss
surgical procedure available. The name "LAP-BAND" comes
from the surgical technique used (laparoscopic) and the name of the
product used (gastric band).
It is a really useful tool to help reduce the amount of food you
eat. It simply acts like a belt around the top portion of your
stomach, creating a small pouch. This newly formed pouch can only
hold small amounts of food, typically around one cup, causing
patients to need less food in order to feel full. The narrowed stoma
also regulates the passage of food between the two stomach areas;
this slows the emptying process, enabling patients feel satiated
longer between meals. LAP banding does not affect the digestive
system process in any way.
The Taj Medical Group's Surgeons use the LAP-BAND System
manufactured by Inamed Corporation. This product has been used
extensively throughout the world since its introduction in 1996.
There are over 180,000 devices implanted in the world. It is the
only FDA approved gastric banding device and has been the subject of
rigorous scientific testing.
The LAP-BAND is a prosthetic device made out of silastic. It was
FDA approved (United States) for the treatment of obesity in 2001.
European and Australian surgeons have had experience using the
LAP-BAND System for over nine years. Currently, over 1000 LAP-BAND's
are placed in the United States every month.
The gastric band has been in use since the mid 1980s. It offers
several major advantages :
- It is adjustable
The adjustability of the band gives you and your doctor control
to achieve weight loss without creating too many unpleasant
symptoms due to the degree of restriction.
- It is placed laparoscopically
for most people this means they can return to work soon after
the operation with a minimal recovery period.
- It is reversible
Taking the band out would revert the stomach to its normal size
and you would expect to gain weight again, so the plan at the
outset is to leave it there permanently. However, if in the
future your band needs to come out for any reason, this too can
be done laparoscopically, leaving no permanent changes to your
LAP banding requires no cutting or stapling of the stomach, but
is done laparosopically through several small incisions on the
abdomen. Surgeons first inject a harmless carbon dioxide gas into
the abdomen to expand the area. Small tubes are then inserted to
create passages for the surgical instruments. A small camera will be
on one tube, while the others will be used for band placement.
Surgeons then carefully place a band around the upper stomach to
create the narrow stoma. A balloon is then used to make the upper
pouch the correct size. This balloon is passed through the mouth and
oesophagus by tube. Once the surgeon is satisfied with the pouch
size, the band is sutured into place and the tube and balloon are
A saline-injection port reservoir is then implanted under the skin
at the side of the body or just below the rib cage. A long tube will
connect the port and LAP band. Later, doctors will use this to
inject or remove saline from the band to adjust band size. All that
is left is to suture the band into place, remove surgical equipment,
and close the incisions after the carbon dioxide gas is released.
The surgery is generally completed between 30 minutes to an hour.