By Dr. Mercola
In the U.S., more than 2 in 3 adults are either overweight or obese, while 1 in 13 is considered to have extreme obesity.1 As obesity rates have risen so, too, have obesity-related diseases like cancer, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis. It’s still commonly believed that the best way to lose weight is to simply eat less and exercise more, but this health dogma fails for many, in large part because of an emphasis placed on low-fat, high-carb foods and counting calories.
As a result, people struggling with obesity may turn to extreme measures like bariatric surgery as a last resort to lose weight. A misguided article in The Atlantic even went so far as to call bariatric surgery the “obesity cure” and scold states with some of the highest rates of obesity for not covering the sometimes-deadly medical procedure in their Medicaid programs.2 If you’re currently trying to lose weight, please understand that there is a better way.
Bariatric Surgery Is Not an ‘Obesity Cure’
Bariatric surgery costs tens of thousands of dollars, making it inaccessible for many people if the procedure isn’t covered by their insurance. This may be a blessing in disguise, however, as complications, from bleeding and infection to blood clots and death, can and do occur. Nonetheless, The Atlantic called out Mississippi — the state with the second-highest rate of obesity in the U.S. — and Montana as being the only two states that don’t cover bariatric surgery in their Medicaid programs.
Many other states don’t cover the surgery in their state employee plans, and even when coverage is offered, there may be barriers that make qualifying for the surgery difficult, such as a requirement to quit smoking or lose a…