You may remember a recent guest blog by Shaun Thomas, a young northern Colorado man who weighed 725 pounds and had just undergone bariatric surgery to lose weight.
Shaun wrote about his hopes for the future. His story inspires us all to maintain a healthy weight.
I’m very glad to report that Shaun is doing well on his path to lose weight and gain a healthier lifestyle. He is preparing another guest blog, this a review of what he went through the first month following the surgery. Shaun’s blog will be published here on or about September 26.
Shaun isn’t alone in his battle to get his life back from weight issues.
Many Americans struggle with weight. For some, the problem becomes so severe it evolves into a war between life and death. For such individuals, no diet program has worked; no exercise program either. Weight gets to the point where it affects their overall health and impacts everything they do.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about a third of U.S. adults are obese. About 17 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of two and 19 also fall into this category.
Obesity is a major contributor to the onset of almost every major disease that affects Americans. Obesity has surpassed tobacco use as the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.
Thankfully, there are solutions that have been proven to work—solutions that allow people to create a healthy lifestyle and return to normal activity. The solutions can extend lives and allow people the ability to enjoy the simple things in life that many of us take for granted.
Like many healthcare organizations in the U.S., Poudre Valley Health System has made it a priority to assist Americans in their weight struggles by offering weight-loss assistance, including a surgical program for morbidly obese patients. We established the Bariatric Center of the Rockies and during the last 16 years have performed weight-loss surgery on more than 3,000 patients, including Shaun.
We have seen first-hand the benefits of weight-loss surgery and the positive, life-long change it provides our patients. Following bariatric surgery, as patients begin to lose weight, many experience a great improvement of their co-morbid conditions like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
Bariatric surgery isn’t for everyone—there’s a stringent review undertaken before patients are accepted into the program—but maintaining a healthy weight is for everyone.
I know that’s tough to do for many people, including myself. It takes a combination of exercise and nutritious eating—and consistency.
If you have a weight issue, I encourage you to take the first step by speaking with your physician to gain advice on how you should proceed, taking into consideration your physical condition, age and risk factors.
There are many positive steps you can take, but always seek advice from qualified professionals.
In our region, for example, you can find expertise through the Health District of Northern Larimer County, as well as PVHS. Learn about CanDo, the Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity, in northern Colorado. CanDo’s goal is to help people prevent the damaging effects of obesity through healthier living.
Please note: I can’t over-emphasize the need to first see a medical professional and seek advice only from qualified dietitians, nutritionists, exercise, and other medical specialists. I say this not only because it’s important to your health but also because there are fly-by-night weight-loss programs, pills and gimmicks that you want to avoid.
I encourage you to step onto the path toward a healthy lifestyle. I wish you a successful journey.
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