Why We Should Change Our Views on Obesity
Dr. Emanuel Nearing II - March 27, 2019
A Google search on “prevalence of obesity in the U.S.” reveals two alarming figures from the most recent data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The numbers:
  • 39.8% of U.S. adults are obese.
  • 20.6% of U.S. adolescents are obese.
This means that more than one out of three adults and one out of five adolescents are overweight or obese. Unfortunately, these percentages have been rising for more than a decade. 
A common misperception is that people who have overweight or obesity are lazy and lack self-control around junk food. This is an outdated, incorrect way of thinking; it’s simply not true. Obesity is a disease, and it should be treated as a disease.
Multiple serious health conditions are associated with obesity. It’s well-documented that diseases such as prediabetes and diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, sleep apnea, heart disease, infertility, stroke and even cancer are associated with morbid obesity. Is it fair to call a diabetic lazy? Is it fair to say a person got cancer because they sat around? The answer is a resounding no.
Before obesity can be universally recognized and treated as a disease, our society must change its outlook and stop blaming patients. Sometimes, even doctors need to change their views on obesity. Obesity is treatable. For some patients, that may include bariatric surgery.
The weight-loss program at Schneck can help patients on their journey to improved health.
What is the philosophy of the weight-loss program at Schneck?
When patients are blamed for having the disease of obesity, it comes from a place of judgment. The weight-loss program at Schneck is a judgment-free environment where patients can talk about very real health concerns and seek treatment. Heart disease may shorten a patient’s life; morbid obesity can do the same. Medical research shows that health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often improve after bariatric surgery.
What is the Schneck approach?
Our multidisciplinary team includes surgeons and nurse practitioners, a certified bariatric nurse, dietitians, psychologists and other support staff who keep the patient’s best interests in mind. Every team member contributes to finding the best approach to help each patient achieve improved health.
Why should patients come to Schneck?
Our bariatric team has the knowledge and expertise to help patients achieve their goals. Unfortunately, about 20 percent of bariatric patients in the U.S. are unsuccessful at losing a substantial amount of weight after surgery. At Schneck, our program is structured to help all of our patients achieve success. Our team-based approach covers all aspects of the patient’s care. As an added bonus, we’re close to home for our patients.