Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Is Obesity About Money and Class?

A study reported in yesterday's New York Times contained some mild good news about our nation's continuing obesity crisis and some fairly disturbing news. The good news, such as it is, is that the growth of the obesity epidemic is starting to slow nationwide -- only five states reported an increase. It's also appears to be leveling off among children.

The sad news is that obesity is still hitting poor people and minorities disproportionately when compared with others. With the growing abundance of cheap, high calorie/low nutrition food and the difficulty of obtaining healthy and safe exercise in less affluent communities, it's easy to see why severe obesity and the many attendant health problems that go with it, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, would tend to hit less well off families the hardest.

Poor neighborhoods are often crime ridden and parents don't have time to take children outside for safe supervised play; they may even restrict their children from leaving the houses out of concern for safety. Also, organized athletic activities -- from school sports for kids and teens to health clubs and exercise dance classes for grown-ups -- are less accessible because all of these things cost money to a greater or lesser degree. Moreover, educated people -- wealthy or relatively poor -- are more likely to take advantage of whatever options do exist to improve their health.

Of course, as one of the top options for weight loss surgery in California, Dr. Feiz and Associates is glad, at the very least, that weight loss surgery is more accessible to people at lower economic levels thanks to increases in health insurance, which often covers bariatric procedures. Still, prevention is always better than cure.

If you are severely obese and are considering a bariatric option, we're here to help. Please contact us at 310-855-8058.

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