Number of Obese Growing Nationwide

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A recent study indicates that the number of people who are morbidly obese -- at least 100 pounds overweight or a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher -- is 50 percent higher now that in past years.

A recent study indicates that the number of people who are morbidly obese -- at least 100 pounds overweight or a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher -- is 50 percent higher now that in past years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the degree of obesity for adults is determined by using an individual's weight and height for BMI calculation. BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat. The healthy range for BMI is 18.5 to 24.9.

BMI is just one indicator of the potential health risks associated with being overweight or obese. Any individual who is overweight must be assessed for the presence of heart disease, diabetes or joint-related problems, as these health issues are very closely related to obesity. Weight loss had been proven to greatly reduce risk factors for many life-threatening diseases. For many people who are severely overweight, gastric bypass surgery is a viable, long-term solution that, when accompanied by life-style modification, can lead to a healthier and longer life.

"Many of our patients struggle with obesity for years before coming to see us, and their health really suffers as a result," said Eugene Rumsey, M.D., F.A.C.S., surgeon at Scripps Mercy Hospital and Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group (http://www.pbsmg.com). "The risk of surgery is outweighed by the tremendous health and lifestyle benefits that accompany the dramatic weight loss we see after bariatric surgery."

Surgeons at Pacific Bariatric (http://www.pbsmg.com) have performed close to 10,000 procedures on adult and adolescent patients at Scripps Mercy Hospital. As a result of our outstanding aftercare programs and support groups, patients at Pacific Bariatric see a success rate of slightly higher than the national average.

Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group, Inc. and Scripps Mercy Hospital are nationally designated by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery as a Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery. Pacific Bariatric Surgical Medical Group, also known as Hillcrest Surgical Medical Group, Inc., has an 80-year tradition of surgical excellence and leadership in San Diego County. For more information, visit http://www.pbsmg.com.

Established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy, Scripps Mercy Hospital serves the San Diego and Chula Vista communities. With 700 licensed beds, more than 3,000 employees and 1,300 physicians, Scripps Mercy Hospital is San Diego's longest established and only Catholic hospital. With two campuses, Scripps Mercy Hospital is the largest hospital in San Diego County and one of the 10 largest in California. For more information, visit http://www.scripps.org.

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