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Is Weight-Loss Surgery Worth The Cost?

Posted Feb 25 2013 9:20am

bigpants From Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting article in MSN Money by Bruce Kennedy entitled Is Weight-Loss Surgery Worth The Cost? I encourage you all to visit the MSN site to read the complete article – a link will be provided below. The article touches upon a popular procedure – bariatric surgery, and the chance of reducing a patient’s long term health care in the future. Obesity is on the rise all over the world, increasing obesity related illness such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and weak joints. An annual $190 billion is spent on obesity-related medical costs, according to a Reuters report, citing data from the Mayo Clinic. In fact, an overweight person is expected to have about $1,850 more in yearly medical costs than someone of healthy weight. So, the question does come up about weight loss surgery and it’s long term effect on health care costs. One report is quoted as stating it does not help out in the long run. These finding were surprising to me, but leads one to question whether those who elect to have this surgery are able to keep the weight off, causing them to become obese again. This would be an interesting finding to support this study more. The bottom line, health diet and exercise play an important role in keeping us healthy. Please visit the MSN web site to read the complete article by Mr. Kennedy. I enjoyed it, and found it very informative.”

From the article…..

Bariatric surgery is extremely popular, but a new study questions whether it reduces a patient’s long-term heath care expenses.

Obesity isn’t just a serious health issue for more than a third of Americans. It weighs us down financially as well.

An annual $190 billion is spent on obesity-related medical costs, according to a Reuters report, citing data from the Mayo Clinic. In fact, an overweight person is expected to have about $1,850 more in yearly medical costs than someone of healthy weight.

There are even obesity-associated costs to the overall economy. The report says job absenteeism among the obese is higher, airlines need an extra $5 billion in jet fuel to fly heavy passengers compared to 1960 weight data, and we spend an additional $4 billion annually on extra gas for heavy passengers and drivers.

Along with calls for better diets, more exercise and additional research into weight-loss drugs, a lot of hope has been invested over the past two decades in bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity.

The American Society For Metabolic And Bariatric Surgery calls the medical specialty “the only proven method that results in durable weight loss,” with the potential to treat or even cure a dangerously overweight person of ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, liver disease and arthritis.

And the popularity of surgical weight-loss procedures has soared. The Los Angeles Times reports the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the United States — often at a cost of $10,000 to $43,000 per procedure — is up 16 times from where it was 15 years ago, to about 220,000 annually.

To read the complete article….. Click here

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