Understanding Obesity

Understanding Obesity

Information about Obesity

Weight Loss Benefits

Who is a Candidate?


Facts about Obesity

Obesity is an epidemic that has exploded in the United States and threatens the health of millions of American adults. Many of these people fall into the category of morbidly obese, or more than 100 pounds overweight with a body mass index of  40 or higher.


Here are some facts about obesity to consider:

  • 127 million Americans (64.5%) are overweight*
  • Approximately one-third of Americans are obese and the number is increasing*
  • 25% of children and adolescents are overweight**
  • Obesity has increased over 61% in all states in the last 10 years**
  • Obesity is a chronic disease with a strong family component*
  • The average number of dollars added to an obese person's medical bill each year is $732.00, 37% more than that of people with normal weight
  • Overall sales of prescriptions for the management of obesity will reach 4.7 billion dollars by 2011

Obesity is the second leading cause of unnecessary deaths.  300,000 Americans die prematurely each year from obesity-related complications or co-morbidities (the presence of other disorders in addition to the primary health condition). These include:

  • Adult onset diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides

Obesity is also a contributing factor in poor health, negatively affecting quality and length of life.

*American Obesity Association*

*American Obesity Association Conference - "Obesity: The Public Health Crisis, September 1999"


Weight Loss Benefits

The Little Company of Mary Bariatric Surgery Center uses a team approach with expertise in nutrition, exercise, psychology, minimally invasive techniques and medical weight loss.


Recent studies report that excess weight loss from Lap-Band® gastric banding surgery is typically in the 50-60% range over 3-5 years. Gastric bypass weight loss is typically in the 60-80% range with weight loss at one year. The medical and emotional benefits of these procedures begin almost immediately.


Over time these benefits can include:

  • Sustained weight loss 
  • Improvement or resolution of type II diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improvement of sleep apnea
  • Improved mobility
  • Reduced osteoarthritis pain
  • Higher energy level
  • Improved self-esteem

Who Is a Candidate?

The typical candidate for bariatric treatment at Little Company of Mary is 18-64 years of age, in excess of 100 pounds or 100% over their ideal body weight or has a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater. A patient is also a candidate if their BMI is between 35 and 40 and has one of the following obesity-related conditions:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart problems (cardiovascular disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Degenerative joint disease

All candidates should have tried yet failed multiple weight loss attempts through diets, exercise, behavior changes or weight loss drugs and exhibit a willingness to participate in the multi-disciplinary program at Little Company of Mary. You also should be informed about the surgical procedures available, the possible side effects and the ways in which your habits will have to change. A strong determination and commitment to changing your lifestyle partnered with education are the main tools any bariatric patient needs to be a truly successful candidate.


Click on the links below to download the following pre-operative quiz and review the findings during your initial consultation with our program surgeon.


Gastric Bypass Roux-en-Y Pre-Operative Test

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding Pre-Operative Test

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