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New Year, New You: Lourdes Bariatric Surgeon Explains “Healthy” Weight

CAMDEN, NJ– In the U.S, more than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Of those considered obese, between 10 and 25 percent are metabolically healthy.

But can you be healthy and obese at the same time? Individuals dubbed “healthy obese” have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, however, they don’t have the metabolic problems typically associated with obesity, such as high cholesterol, insulin resistance, diabetes or high blood pressure.

Don’t let that fool you, says a Lourdes bariatric surgeon.

“Carrying around extra weight is more than a cosmetic problem,” said Lourdes bariatric surgeon Harish Kakkilaya, MD, FACS, FRCS, FASMBS. “People who are overweight or obese have poorer physical and mental health and experience a reduced quality of life. It also sets these individuals up for health problems in the future.”

A recent study published in the  Journal of the American College of Cardiology  suggests that even when obese or overweight people are seemingly free of health problems, they are still more likely to develop heart disease than their normal-weight peers.

“Being obese is simply not healthy. Studies prove that,” said Dr. Kakkilaya. “The good news is that even modest weight loss can produce health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol,” said Dr. Kakkilaya. “It can also help relieve sleep apnea–another risk factor for heart disease–and decrease the number of medications you need to take.”

Ideal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, says Dr. Kakkilaya. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week. In addition, Dr. Kakkilaya recommends the following to achieve a healthy weight:

  • Eating a healthy, low-carbohydrate diet, like the Mediterranean diet
  • Avoiding sugar and processed foods
  • Quenching your thirst with water instead of juices, soda or energy drinks
  • Limiting your alcohol consumption
  • Not smoking
  • Considering bariatric surgery if obese and diet and exercise are not enough

Lourdes’ Bariatric team is made up of numerous weight-loss experts, including surgeons, nurses, dieticians and therapists. Lourdes’ Bariatric program is accredited as a Comprehensive Center by the American College of Surgeons Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).

“Lourdes Bariatric team is fully dedicated to patients’ overall well-being, from deciding the most appropriate weight-loss plan–whether surgical or non-surgical, to exercise instruction, nutrition counseling, support groups and continuous education afterward,” said Dr. Kakkilaya. “Our multidisciplinary, comprehensive program offers many options for those who need support.   Our focus is on health and long-term success.”

For more information about bariatric program at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, call  1-888-847-8823 (568-7337).


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