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Options when diet and exercise fail

Obesity is common in the United States, and many struggle to lose weight for a variety of reasons, including physical limitations.

More than 93 million Americans are affected by the disease of obesity. Obesity carries with it various other diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and more. Combined with obesity, these conditions may greatly impact an individual’s quality of health and life.

Treating obesity can often be difficult. If you’re affected by obesity, you know first-hand that addressing your weight and improving your health is not always an easy task to accomplish. The scope of weight-loss options are wide and can often be confusing and intimidating.

It is important to note that all methods for addressing obesity should be utilized as “tools” as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing your weight and improving your health. There is no single treatment. A combination of the appropriately selected tools and lifestyle modification are essential in a successful obesity treatment and weight management plan.

We all know that the ideal way to maintain a healthy body is through exercise and a sensible diet. But what if you can’t lose weight?  Sometimes it is more than a matter of willpower.

What are some weight loss options:

Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries are major, life-changing procedures. While weight-loss surgery can help reduce your risk of weight-related health problems — such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea — it can also pose major risks and complications. You may need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for weight-loss surgery.  You likely will have an extensive screening process to see if you qualify.

When is surgery an option:

In general, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgery could be an option for you if:

  • Efforts to lose weight with diet and exercise have been unsuccessful
  • Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (extreme obesity)
  • Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity) and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.

In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.

When you go to the doctor:

  • make an appointment with a bariatric doctor for an evaluation
  • find out if your insurance covers the procedure
  • be ready to make a life-time commitment to bettering your health

Two-thirds of residents in South Texas are Hispanic and health problems are typically linked to lifestyle choices.  More than 50% of South Texans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise, defined as 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, and 76% do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. These rates are similar to the rest of the state and nation.


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