While the The Cutting Edge: Fighting Fat appeared on television stations nationwide, an interactive Webcast and social media campaign gathered feedback from viewers all across the country. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from viewers who added their voices to the discussion about obesity and fitness.
Q: How do I calculate my BMI and what number is considered obese?
A: Your BMI is determined based on your height and weight, and also takes into account your age and gender.
The easiest way to find your BMI (Body Mass Index) is to use an online calculator.
A BMI of 18-24 is considered normal; 25-29 is considered overweight, and over 30 is considered obese. Someone with a BMI of 40 or higher is considered morbidly obese.
Q: How do I know which type of bariatric surgery is right for me?
A: A wide range of factors must be considered for each patient to determine if bariatric surgery is a good option, and if so, which type of surgery would help the patient achieve optimal benefits.
For example, patients who have had previous abdominal surgeries may not be able to undergo successful laparoscopic surgeries.
An overview of basic considerations regarding the type of bariatric surgery that's most likely to help you can be found here.
Q: Does bariatric surgery really help with the underlying issues that caused the obesity?
A: No, the surgery doesn't really change the person. While the physical effects of weight loss surgery can be dramatic, for a patient to achieve long term change and to maintain the weight loss, the patient must focus on behavioral changes. Counseling, both before and after surgery, helps patients reach and maintain a new healthy weight and lifestyle.
Q: How much do hormone levels have to do with weight control?
A: There's clearly a connection between hormone levels and weight. A recent study of bariatric surgery patients showed a significant change in their levels of certain thyroid hormones but more study is needed to understand how hormones affect weight before patients become obese.
Most overweight or obese people can't blame hormone imbalances for their weight problems. Thyroid function can be regulated, and many hormonal fluctuations are simply a normal part of the aging process.