Bariatric surgery IS an ANSWER…

On November 18, 2009, in General Nutrition, by Andrea

So there’s a new report out yesterday that projects 103 million Americans will be obese by 2018 — that’s 43%  — up from 31% in 2008.  That’s quite an increase, and imagine the costs associated with the co-morbidities that are associated with obesity..

Mr. Thorpe concluded that the prevalence of obesity is growing faster than that of any other public health condition in the country’s history. Health care costs related to obesity — which is associated with conditions like hypertension and diabetes — would total $344 billion in 2018, or more than one in five dollars spent on health care, if the trends continue. If the obesity rate were held to its current level, the country would save nearly $200 billion a year by 2018, according to the study.

So while reading this little article — and thanks Eggface for linking it up — I remembered an article I read last year – this one right here that called Bariatric surgery “cost effective” !!  Heya, this might be an answer!

The cost of the most common type of weight-loss surgery, which typically runs between $17,000 and $26,000, is offset within two to four years by medical cost savings, according to a new study.

The findings, published in the September issue of the American Journal of Managed Care, may increase pressure on health-insurance companies to cover gastric bypass surgery. Some insurance plans specifically exclude weight-loss surgery, despite medical evidence of its effectiveness as a treatment not just for obesity, but also for related conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

“The most cost-effective treatment for obesity is bariatric surgery. If you do that, within two to four years, you will get your money back,” said the study’s lead author, Pierre-Yves Crémieux, a health economist and principal at Analysis Group Inc., an economic consulting firm in Boston. “We have identified the break-even point for insurers,” he added.

So maybe, just maybe we can get people to listen?  Fixing obesity with a gut-rerouting can be a cost-effective solution.  I don’t advocate it for everyone — those who won’t take care of themselves, follow the vitamin regimen, etc. shouldn’t get sliced and diced.  I know, hard to weed out the crazies.  But here, here is a way to help cut health care costs that people are bitching about in the country.  Rather than tell those of us who have the surgery that we shouldn’t do this, doctors should help us and learn more about it, and hey, maybe even educate more patients about it to help save lives.

Well, a girl can dream, right?

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