Obesity in America: A study just published in JAMA on Monday shows that now 75% of men and 67% of women 25 and older are overweight or obese. Nearly 68 million Americans were found to be obese and 65 million were overweight. The CDC defines overweight as having a BMI of 25-30, and obese as having a BMI of 30 and above. For the first time in history, the number of Americans who are obese outnumbers those who are overweight.
Commentary on the article frequently mentions the need for change in public policy to reverse this trend, however the Affordable Care Act does little to address this important issue. Despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act applies to all Americans, sadly less than half of states provide a requirement for coverage of bariatric surgery. Many studies have been published on the efficacy of surgical weight loss and that it reduces long term mortality and lengthens life expectancy. It’s time to stop these discriminatory politics and provide all Americans with the only effective treatment for this disease.