Medical weight-loss programs have been around for years, but many people still don’t quite understand how they work. Some people repeatedly try and fail to lose weight at home, only to feel even more discouraged and unhealthy after every attempt. Medical weight-loss programs provide structure, customized recommendations, and support to ensure effective weight loss and maintenance. If you’re considering a medical weight-loss program, here are some of the benefits.
Excess Weight Is Unhealthy
More than one third of adults in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Obesity leads to health conditions that cause preventable death. Heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer have all been linked to unhealthy body weight.
Excess body weight also causes health conditions that reduce your quality of life, such as sleep apnea, mental issues (such as depression and anxiety), high cholesterol and body pain.
Excess Weight Is Expensive
Obesity costs Americans between $147 billion and $210 billion annually. Obese adults spend 42 percent more on health care than adults of a healthy weight. They use more sick days and medical claims. Even those considered moderately overweight are twice as likely to be prescribed medication as people at a healthy body weight.
When people reduce body weight through healthy diet and exercise, they spend less on doctor’s visits, prescription medications, emergency room visits, and sick days. They lower their risks for chronic disease and premature death.
Is Medical Weight Loss a Solution?
Medical weight loss is typically the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. A doctor and a team of dieticians customize a plan that’s right for each patient and supervise therapy for safe, consistent weight loss. Patients have access to the tools, plans and encouragement they need to be successful.
Medical weight loss helps patients change their eating habits to reach their goal weights and to live more healthful, longer lives. It provides nutrition and fitness education along with life coaching. Patients don’t just lose the weight, they address the habits and issues that led to putting it on in the first place.
Most health insurance plans pay for obesity screening and counseling. Your family doctor can compare your height and weight to figure out your BMI (body mass index). If it’s 25 or higher, you are classified as overweight. A BMI of more than 30 is obese.
Physician referral is required for patients to be eligible for medical weight loss programs. Patients typically must have a BMI of 30 or higher, or a BMI of 27 with another medical condition that is complicated by obesity. Some health insurance pays for medical weight loss programs. Check with your insurance provider to find out if you are covered.