The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a bright light on the need to educate the public with facts to ensure that people can take the right measures to increase their chances of health and longevity.
More than 520,000 lives have been lost – an unimaginable number. But in truth, there is a group of more than 22 million Americans who are at a greater risk if they get the coronavirus than the population at large. Those with obesity are unnecessarily suffering disproportionately.
That’s the bad news. Better news is that there is a clear path these individuals can take to reduce their risk of contracting severe COVID-19. In doing so, they can also reduce or eliminate many other health conditions related to their excess weight, including cancer and diabetes.
Healthy lifestyle changes combined with weight-loss surgery produce the best results.
While many hospitals have put off elective surgeries, there are weight-loss procedures, such as laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, that can be safely performed at an ambulatory (non-hospital) surgery center. So, while waiting for a lifesaving shot, people who are 30 - 60 pounds overweight have a proven solution available right now.
It can be shocking to realize how many serious health conditions are tied to obesity.
Coronavirus is only the latest. The good news is that many diseases can be prevented or treated with lifestyle changes and sustained weight loss. There is no better time than now to take control of your life and your health.
Editor's note: Dr. Orris is a surgeon at the Weight Loss Institute of AZ