When it comes to seasonal weight gain, the causes of winter weight gain for most people are obvious. Then, after the winter months, New Year’s Resolutions and the prospect of getting “beach ready” kick people back into gear with their weight loss goals and diets. Unfortunately, once the summer season is upon us, new challenges present themselves that many don’t think much about.
Overweight and obesity have long been associated with over 30 different chronic comorbid conditions. But some of these conditions are more readily talked about with providers than others. The impact of weight on Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Hypertension is pretty clear to both patients and physicians alike.
OK, we get it already! Being overweight has all these health risks… and two-thirds of people are overweight… and being overweight can complicate chronic conditions… and you have to lose weight NOW! Stop eating your favorite foods. Eat less. Workout, workout, workout…
Physicians are making great strides in learning how to effectively treat obesity despite the innumerable challenges that stand in the way of patients’ success. Overweight and obese patients sometime must face their own internalized stigma — but what happens when they leave their provider’s office? If a patient doesn’t have social support, their success can be derailed — and not just at the beginning stages of weight loss, but also when it comes to long-term maintenance.
These days, everything needs to be fast. We need fast internet, fast traffic, fast DMV lines. Fast is almost always better, right? The keyword is almost. Fast seems great on a surface level but when it comes to fast food, the tradeoff is fast weight gain.
According to the World Heart Federation, 21 percent of chronic heart disease cases are attributable to a BMI above 21. And with nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults overweight or obese, we are looking at the potential for heart disease rates to skyrocket in the coming years if we don’t collectively do something about the obesity epidemic.
I’ve struggled with weight all of my adult life. At times, I was sickly thin. Other times, I was bloated and uncomfortable in my own skin. Both experiences have given me a perspective on what it’s like to be overweight and underweight.
By now, the need to prioritize obesity treatment in health care is widely accepted. Not a single state met the 2010 Healthy People goal of a 15% obesity rate. Instead, obesity rates have steadily climbed, with over one-third of American adults being obese, and with the United States ranking as one of the most obese countries in the world. And with obesity rates rising, so do the rates of comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
In the beginning of a weight loss journey, many patients think they’ll lose 40 pounds and look like Cindy Crawford. They fantasize about hitting the beach in the smallest bikini they can find to show off their new body and celebrate all of their hard work. One thing that weight loss patients are sometimes unprepared for, however, is that they still may need to deal with some body image issues after weight loss. One such issue is excess skin.
Every year, weight loss centers see a huge influx of dieters eager to lose weight on January 2. Not much effort needs to go into getting people through the door when weight loss is top of mind for New Year’s resolutions.