The general findings of the study are that obesity rates have increased by three times as compared to the figures in the nineties.
] Representatives from 35 major health and medical organizations including, ththe USAmerican Diabetes Association (ADA), American Medical Association (AMA), American Heart Association (AHA), American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) convened for a second annual summit in Chicago to identify opportunities for collaboration in treating obesity. “The National Obesity Summit on the Provision of Care for the Obese Patient” was hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).
“We represent many different specialties, backgrounds and perspectives, but we’re all really treating the same disease,” said John M. Morton, MD, MPH, ASMBS President, who served as moderator for the Summit, which was held in September. “That’s why there is intense and growing interest in how we can work together to better help our patients with obesity and related diseases. Obesity is the medical equivalent of economic inflation – obesity increases costs and decreases the effectiveness of medical interventions. We are paying for obesity already. Let’s coordinate and provide care the right way.”
Specialists in obesity medicine, bariatric surgery, orthopaedics, diabetes, heart disease, reproductive medicine, sleep medicine, anesthesiology, nutrition, behavioral health, dentistry and oncology discussed prevention and treatment strategies for obesity, patient access to treatment, care coordination and how to further engage patients themselves in the treatment of obesity. Representatives from the insurance industry also participated.
“Treating obesity is central to the management of type 2 diabetes,” said William Herman, MD, MPH, who represented the American Diabetes Association. “Medical care is so siloed. We need to move from a piecemeal approach to one that is more comprehensive.”
Recently the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association issued a joint scientific statement on cardiovascular disease in adults with type 2 diabetes, which for the first time includes discussion and recommendations on bariatric and metabolic surgery, focuses on blood pressure and blood glucose control, cholesterol management, aspirin therapy, and weight management through lifestyle, pharmacological and surgical approaches.
Another group that is becoming increasingly focused on obesity treatment is the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. Last October, ASCO called for increased education, research and advocacy “to reduce the toll of obesity, both as a leading cause of cancer and complication in the care of cancer patients.”
Jennifer Ligibel, MD, who leads the ASCO Energy Balance Working Group, presented data at the Summit that illustrated a strong connection between obesity and cancer, a connection she says is not well recognized, especially in the general population.
“Over the next 20 years, obesity is likely to be the most preventable cause of cancer,” Dr. Ligibel said. Dr. Ligibel told the group she envisions potential collaborations in research, education and policy activities.
Collaboration was the key word as the group discussed how they could work together to improve patient care through a multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to obesity.
“The AASM recognizes that healthy sleep helps prevent obesity, and that helping our patients with obesity lose weight is an integral part of sleep apnea treatment. This conference is a great step towards whole person healthcare,” said Timothy I. Morgenthaler, MD, Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine and past president, American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
“We are thankful to be included in the Summit. The dental office can play an important role in assessing for and monitoring chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, which are significantly linked to obesity,” said Lindsey Robinson, DDS, who represented the American Dental Association. “Dental care professionals can be an important part of the multi-disciplinary care team to manage patients with chronic diseases and reduce obesity prevalence in society.”
No matter which measure is opted for, the obesity levels have increased across US in alarming levels in the last two decades. When states were measured for obesity rates, the figures show more than triple the volume registered more than two decades ago. An instance of the same can be given by the Colorado state. Here the percentage of the population that was found to be obese in 1990 was seven percent. Today it is 21 percent, while Mississippi registered a percentage of 35 which was 15 in the early nineties.
The figures are part of a new report finding submitted by the foundation for Robert Wood Johnson as well as America’s health trust. The overall news is not good for the country. As per the study, the definition being considered for obesity is a body mass index of 30 and above and it is found that the rate is going up for adults. The states that have the highest rate of obesity are Mississippi, West Virginia and Arkansas while the rest of the 22 states have obesity rates above 30 percent. The whole country records a percentage of 35 of the total population who are obese and about 67% are considered overweight or obese as they have a BMI of 25 at least.
The ten states that record the highest levels of obesity are located in the Midwest and South. Colorado, Columbia and Hawaii have recorded the least number of obese people, which is another interesting find of the study.
The monitoring of the health and obesity levels of the people is important as it is linked to associated health problems. Health care costs are going up as a result of this problem. The course of this epidemic needs to be addressed as the current lives of the present generation as well as the future ones will be affected as a result. The young people who are in this condition might live shorter and less healthy lives than their parents, which would be a first in American history. The rate has fallen for kids in the age group of two to five year olds by 43%. However, those who are in the age group of 2 to 19 are reflecting a percentage of 17 in the obese category while about 32% are suffering from overweight problems.
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