In order to determine the best weight loss solution, it is important to complete an obesity risk assessment. While there is no perfect method for measuring the degree of a person’s obesity, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most widely accepted method used today.
BMI describes the relationship between a person’s height and weight. As the amount of weight for height increases, the BMI rises. As the BMI rises, the likelihood of that person developing one or more of the many obesity-related co-morbid conditions increases. And at the severely obese BMI levels, the severity of those diseases is significant.
While studies have shown that as little as a 10% reduction of weight can improve the co-morbid conditions caused by excess weight, to achieve resolution of these conditions, significant and long-term weight loss is needed.
For patients with BMIs less than 35, weight can be lost non-surgically when working closely with a physician and multidisciplinary team.
When the BMI falls between 35 and 40, both surgical and non-surgical weight can be considered. The physician working with the patient will look at the BMI in conjunction with other medical conditions a patient may have, and will then make a recommendation as to the best weight loss approach.
For patients with BMIs 40 and greater, despite the amount of attention focused on non-surgical weight loss, there has yet to be a single, effective method identified. Studies have shown that while most people can lose weight, 90-95% regain the lost weight within 1-2 years, and often gain more.
In comparison, weight loss (bariatric) surgery has consistently demonstrated that significant weight can be lost by patients with higher BMIs, and more importantly, that the weight loss can be sustained long term.
Additionally, weight can be lost non-surgically by patients in the lower BMI ranges when working closely with a physician and multidisciplinary team.