Trends and Predictions for 2012 from the Editor of Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery
December 20, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsAll of the hard-won local, state and federal efforts to buck the skyrocketing rates of obesity in the U.S. will begin to pay off in 2012.
Will 2012 really mark the end of the obesity epidemic? No, but we will begin to see a leveling off in the rates of obesity and, perhaps, a modest decrease among certain key populations, predicts Denise Mann, editorial director of the Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery.
Efforts such as First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign - which encourages healthy eating, physical activity and limiting screen time for children - and growing access to bariatric surgery have and will continue to play a role in changing behaviors, reducing obesity rates as well as stopping diseases associated with obesity in their tracks.
There is still a lot more work to be done. About one-third of Americans are obese. As it stands, about 200,000 people undergo bariatric surgery each year. This is still just 1 percent of the eligible population.
Certain changes may encourage more people to consider surgery as a permanent solution to their weight woes such as:
More Insurance Coverage
Growing numbers of insurers will continue to pay for bariatric surgery in 2012, allowing many more people - even some teens - to reap the health benefits of weight loss surgery.
Evidence that it's a Diabetes Cure
The International Diabetes Federation predicts that one in 10 adults could have diabetes by 2030. The emerging body of evidence that bariatric surgery cures - yes, cures - diabetes even before weight loss may have profound effects on the diabetes epidemic and people's willingness to have surgery.
Focus on the Risks
Bariatric surgery, like all surgery, does have its share of risks, and we will be hearing more about them in 2012. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's crackdown on Lap Band claims made by weight loss centers and marketers at the end of 2011 will have ripple effects into 2012. There will be a pronounced change in how these surgeries - their risks and their results - are marketed to the public.
Bariatric surgeons have something else up their sleeves for 2012. Expect to see more gastric sleeve surgeries in the coming year. During gastric sleeve surgery, a bariatric surgeon removes about 85 percent of the stomach so it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve. This procedure has some pluses. Unlike the Lap Band, the sleeve does not require adjustments. Moreover, it does not cause malabsorption (or difficulty absorbing nutrients from food), a condition marked by bloating, cramping, and gas among other gastrointestinal symptoms.
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