News that obesity rates in the UK have risen, such that approximately 63% of the population are now considered overweight or obese have been balanced by news that operations to tackle this phenomenon are equally on the rise.
The number of people admitted to hospital in England due to their obesity has tripled in five years, while the number of publicly-funded bariatric procedures has increased almost ninefold over the same period.
This is reassuring news considering that public resources are under strain due to a multitude of factors including the huge budget deficit. Although surgery is not the optimal solution for a problem as complex as obesity, many observers are now agreed that it is the most effective tool in the weight loss armamentarium. The willingness of governments to fund this tool varies across region, political cycle and the nation’s economic ability.
In the face of this, one must not lose sight of the impact weight loss surgery has on disease processes such as diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea with the added cost-saving that arises from reducing the need for expensive medications such as insulin. I would fully agree that the optimal solution would be to prevent obesity developing through healthier lifestyles and dietary patterns, however in the meantime we should be doing more to decrease the impact obesity has on the NHS.
Ahmed Hamouda on Google+.