Answers to Common Obesity Questions

Premier Physician Network doctors answer frequently asked questions about obesity.

How does obesity affect someone’s health?

Being obese can cause a variety of health issues, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

Obesity-related health problems adults can face include:

  • abnormal levels of blood fats
  • cancer
  • chronic kidney disease
  • coronary heart disease
  • diabetes
  • gallstones
  • gout
  • high blood pressure
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity hypoventilation syndrome
  • osteoarthritis
  • reproductive problems
  • respiratory disease
  • sleep apnea
  • stroke

Obesity also can have negative effects on someone’s mental health, according to the NIH.

For more information about how obesity can affect your health, talk with your doctor.

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Can weight loss surgery resolve someone’s health issues?

Weight loss surgery can help improve many obesity-related health issues, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric SurgeryOff Site Icon (ASMBS).

Some conditions weight loss surgery has been shown to improve include:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure

Many people who have weight loss surgery end up taking less medication to treat obesity-related conditions also, according to the ASMBS.

Talk to your doctor for more information about how weight loss surgery can affect health issues.

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What is benign obesity?

Benign obesity is a term sometimes used to describe a condition in which someone is overweight or obese but does not suffer from any other co-morbidities, such as diabetes and hypertension, according to the Annals of Internal MedicineOff Site Icon.

For more information about benign obesity, talk with your physician.

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Is the concept of benign obesity misleading?

The idea of benign obesity is misleading because even if a person currently has no co-morbid conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, they deal with in addition to obesity, they can still have problems down the road.

The long-term effect of carrying around extra weight can lead to heart attack, stroke and dying prematurely, according to a study from Toronto’s Mount Sinai HospitalOff Site Icon

For more information about benign obesity, talk with your physician.

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What is obesity with comorbidities?

Obesity as a disease can cause people to develop other conditions that can be equally as dangerous and deadly, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

Some comorbidities of obesity, according to the NIH, include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gout
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Hypertension
  • Insulin resistance
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Variety of cancers, including colorectal, prostate, endometrial, breast and gallbladder

Battling obesity along with comorbidities can be a burden because the comorbid conditions worsen the difficulties and predicted outcome of the disease, according to the NIH.

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What is obesity without comorbidities?

While it is not common, it is possible to suffer from obesity without having any known comorbidities.

Though comorbid conditions – such as diabetes, osteoporosis, sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease – might not be apparent at first, over time, they can become issues, according to the Annals of Internal MedicineOff Site Icon.

Over time, the extra weight of obesity takes a toll on the body, which can eventually cause comorbidities to arise.

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How does sugar affect someone’s health?

Though sugar itself isn’t bad for people, consuming too much has become a norm that can cause health issues.

Americans are eating and drinking too much sugar, especially sugars that are not naturally found in foods, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

The only type of sugar the body needs is glucose, which it can make by breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats, according to the NIH.

Studies have found that excess sugar in food can cause obesity and cardiovascular problems, according to the NIH.

For more information about sugar and your health, talk with your physician.

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Can artificial sweeteners cause someone to crave sweet foods?

Though artificial sweeteners are marketed to help keep you from eating and drinking too much sugar, they might be making your craving for sweets even stronger, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

Studies have shown it is possible that the very strong sweet taste of artificial sweeteners can lead people to have a “sweet tooth,” according to the NIH.

This can lead to overeating and eating sugary sweets you might have otherwise avoided, according to the NIH.

However, more studies need to be done to determine the specific connection between artificial sweeteners and craving sweets, according to the NIH.

For more information about artificial sweeteners and your health, talk with your physician.

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What is non-surgical, or medically managed, weight loss?

Dr. Joe Northup discusses non-surgical, or medically managed, weight loss. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Non-surgical weight loss – also known as medically managed weight loss – is a structured plan to lose weight in a healthy way with the guidance of a team of medical professionals. It does not involve weight loss surgery, according to Premier Physician Network (PPN) doctors. 

Premier Weight Loss Solutions offers a Medically Managed Weight Loss Program that teams you with skilled weight loss physicians, dietitians, and other providers to help coordinate your care. 

The ultimate goal of the program is to help you lose weight to maintain long-term wellness. For more information about medically managed weight loss, talk with your doctor.

For more information about artificial sweeteners and your health, talk with your physician.

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How is the medically managed weight loss program different from other diets?

Dr. Joe Northup discusses how the medically managed weight loss program is different from other diets. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

The Medically Managed Weight Loss Program is different from other diets because it empowers you to focus on behavioral and lifestyle changes, according to Premier Physician Network (PPN) doctors. 

Rather than being a fad diet that only has a goal of weight loss, the Medically Managed Weight Loss Program combines diet, exercise, education, and more to help you have successful long-term weight management.

Talk to your doctor for more information about how the medically managed weight loss program is different from other diets.

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Who is a good candidate for medically managed weight loss?

Dr. Joe Northup discusses who is a good candidate for medically managed weight loss. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

If you are interested in losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle, you are a candidate for the Medically Managed Weight Loss Program, according to Premier Physician Network (PPN) doctors.

The program can be useful for you if you are interested in losing a substantial amount of weight or just a few pounds. It will help you learn life-long techniques to weight loss and management, including what healthy eating and physical activity work for you.

Typically, patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or higher have more success with weight loss surgery, and patients with a BMI under 35 have more success with non-surgical weight loss, according to PPN physicians. 

However, if your BMI is – for example – 45, but weight loss surgery doesn’t feel like the right fit for you, medically managed weight loss could be a great option to help you toward a healthier life.

Talk with your doctor for more information about who is a good candidate for medically managed weight loss.

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What is the success rate for a medically managed weight loss program compared to weight loss surgery?

Dr. Joe Northup discusses the success rate for a medically managed weight loss program compared to weight loss surgery. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Currently, weight loss surgery has a higher success rate than medically managed weight loss, but Premier Physician Network (PPN) doctors attribute that to weight loss surgery patients typically having more weight to lose.

PPN doctors say they see “tremendous success” among non-surgical, or medically managed, weight loss patients that are not only losing weight but keeping it off. 

They attribute the success to the program’s focus on education, behavioral changes, and exercise components that go along with the healthy eating guidance.

To learn more about the success rate for medically managed weight loss compared to weight loss surgery, talk with your doctor.

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What is the cost of this type of medically managed weight loss program, and is it covered by insurance?

Dr. Joe Northup discusses the cost for medically managed weight loss and whether it is covered by insurance. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

One of the perks of the Medically Managed Weight Loss Program is that the majority of the program is covered through insurance. 

There is a program fee to cover monthly support groups and dietitian visits and a fee for a fitness facility. But patients are seen during physician visits, which helps with insurance coverage.

Talk to your doctor for more information about the cost and insurance coverage options for medically managed weight loss.

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Does obesity run in families?

Some risk factors of obesity can’t be avoided, unfortunately.

Your family history can increase your risk of obesity because the disease does run in families, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).

However, your genes aren’t the most worrisome risk of obesity. Your upbringing can be a much bigger problem.

The way your family raises you – what foods you were allowed to commonly eat, the importance placed on physical activity, and how you saw these behaviors modeled – has a bigger influence on your likelihood of obesity than your genes, according to Premier Physician Network (PPN) doctors.

Talk with your doctor for more information about whether obesity runs in families.

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What is the connection between lifestyle and obesity?

Our daily lifestyle choices have a direct connection to whether or not we are prone to facing obesity.

Poor sleeping habits, lack of physical activity, excessive stress, and poor eating habits all have been shown to lead to obesity, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).

For more information about the connection between lifestyle and obesity, talk with your doctor.

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What are steps people can take – both kids and adults – to break unhealthy habits that lead to obesity?

To help break unhealthy habits that lead to obesity, you can start by setting both smaller, short-term goals and larger, long-term goals.

When you make even small changes, they can add up to a surprisingly big change in your health, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).

Premier Physician Network (PPN) doctors say both adults and children can break some unhealthy habits by changing the way they manage food, physical activity, and stress in their lives.

You can change unhealthy lifestyle habits little by little by replacing them with easy to manage, enjoyable alternatives.

With food, you can plan ahead to have fresh, healthy snacks on hand, and eliminate sugary, high-fat foods and drinks.

Make time to eat together as a family, and model healthy eating habits for children.

Limit screen time and replace it with physical activity. Instead of watching a movie or texting, enjoy the outdoors, and do something active together.

Relieve stress by planning enjoyable activities, such as get-togethers with family, reading, meeting up with friends, listening to music, and being outside.

For more information about ways to change unhealthy behaviors that lead to obesity, talk to your doctor.

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What are the hormone changes you experience after weight loss surgery?

Weight loss surgery not only leads to physical changes. It also changes your internal physiology, which includes a change in your hormones. 

Your intestinal hormones change in a way that they make you less hungry and help you feel fuller, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric SurgeryOff Site Icon (ASMBS).

After the changes take place, the end result is that you have less of a desire to eat, and you eat less often.

For more information about hormonal changes you experience after weight loss surgery, talk with your doctor.

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How is the hormone change experienced after weight loss surgery different than with other types of weight loss? 

The hormone changes you experience after weight loss surgery are opposite of those you would have with dietary weight loss, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric SurgeryOff Site Icon (ASMBS).

With weight loss surgery, your body does a kind of physiological reset because of the hormone changes, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

That isn’t the case with other types of weight loss. With dietary weight loss, for example, you don’t go through a full reset, so it’s easier to get discouraged and give up on a long-term weight loss goal.

For more information about how hormones changes after weight loss surgery are different that with other types of weight loss, talk with your doctor.

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Is there anything you should do to prepare for hormone changes after weight loss surgery?

When you’re preparing for weight loss surgery, it’s important to understand how hormone changes after the surgery can affect your overall health.

Weight loss surgery has been shown to help with many comorbid conditions – like diabetes and high blood pressure, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

You can prepare before surgery by keeping track of these conditions and any medications you take to control them.

After surgery, it’s important to continue closely monitoring, for example, your blood sugar and blood pressure. Positive changes can happen quickly, and you might need major adjustments to your medications once your body starts getting used to your new after-surgery life.

Talk to your doctor for more information about what you should do to prepare for hormone changes after weight loss surgery.

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Are hormone changes after weight loss surgery enhanced through lifestyle changes?

Lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and physical activity, can benefit your weight loss, but they don’t affect your hormonal changes after weight loss surgery.

The hormonal changes are directly related to the surgery itself, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

Talk to your doctor for more information about whether hormone changes after weight loss surgery are enhanced through lifestyle changes.

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Thanks to these Premier Physician Network’s doctors for answering these common questions about obesity:

Additional Resources

This website provides general medical information that should be used for informative and educational purposes only. Information found here should not be used as a substitute for the personal, professional medical advice of your physician. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting a physician.

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