Feb 27, 2012
It may not be contagious, but it is a problem that doctors are seeing more often in central Virginia.
Nurse Lisa Slate is a coordinator at Martha Jefferson's Bariatric Care Center and is weighing in on this week's What's Going Around.
Symptoms of obesity include a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more. That's about 60 pounds or more over the ideal weight. Slate says having a BMI at that level often results in one or more serious obesity-related health conditions. Those include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obstructive sleep apnea.
Slate says severe obesity is becoming widespread among the entire population, and the age of onset is getting younger all the time. She adds, without proper treatment and a strong commitment on the patient's part, the condition can last a lifetime.
Slate recommends improved nutrition and increased physical activity for treatment. Also, psychological counseling, motivational programs or weight-loss surgery may be effective.
Slate says you can prevent severe obesity by living a healthy lifestyle with lots of physical activity, proper nutrition and visiting your doctor for regular check-ups.