Tags: weight | loss | surgery | cuts | doctor | visits | bariatric

Weight Loss Surgery Cuts Doctor Visits

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 12:08 PM

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but losing weight will also cut down on the number of visits to the doctor, according to a study at Canada's Concordia University. Professor James McIntosh found that obese people visit the doctor more frequently than smokers who are average weight.
"The fact that obesity is more serious than smoking helps people understand the gravity of the problem because they already have some kind of intuitive understanding of how bad smoking is," says McIntosh.
McIntosh studied information on more than a national survey of 60,000 people and found that if obesity weren't a factor, doctor visits would decrease by 10 percent. He speculated that the number of visits would decrease even more if problems related to Type 2 diabetes — a disease related directly to obesity — were taken into account.
Obesity could be the cause of even more doctor visits than estimated by McIntosh, because the survey didn't include information about weight history. Someone who has recently developed obesity may not be experiencing the full impact of complications such as diabetes that need more medical care.
"The data is clear on the fact that people are overeating and under-exercising, and that has to change," says McIntosh. "I think academics have a responsibility to get policy makers interested in these serious problems."
One solution could be higher insurance premiums for people who are obese, he said. But since obesity is more common in people with low incomes, this solution could be difficult to execute, Ultimately, he says, a combination of approaches is necessary, including regulation of the fast-food industry.


© HealthDay

 
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An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but losing weight will also cut down on the number of visits to the doctor, according to a study at Canada's Concordia University.
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2012-08-17
Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 12:08 PM
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