Cincinnati—Local patients who have undergone weight-loss surgery and their families and friends will symbolically “walk away” from a life of excessive weight gain at the fourth annual Walk From Obesity, presented by the UC Center for Surgical Weight Loss.
A nationwide effort, the three-mile local walk will begin at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, at Winton Woods, 1024 Winton Rd., Greenhills. All proceeds will benefit the American Society for Bariatric Surgery Foundation (ASBS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to national research related to the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, nearly a third of adults in the United States are obese. The organization estimates that obesity costs the nation $117 billion annually. In addition, Americans spend $33 billion each year on weight-loss products and services like gastric bypass surgery.
Research has shown that obesity—defined as an increase in body weight from the accumulation of stored, excess fat—is caused by a mixture of factors, including genetics, personal environment and behavior.
“Weight-loss surgery is not for everyone,” says Lisa Martin Hawver, MD, a gastrointestinal surgeon specializing in laparoscopic surgery, including weight-loss surgery, who recently joined the UC Center for Surgical Weight Loss. “Major lifestyle changes are required if the patient is to maintain a healthy weight long-term.”
Martin Hawver emphasizes that weight-loss surgery is reserved for people who are severely obese—defined as having a body mass index of 35 or higher—who have tried other diet techniques without success, or who face a reduced quality of life due to serious health problems related to their weight.
Morbidly obese people are at increased risk for other illnesses, including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis and respiratory problems.
“Our goal is to offer an alternative to those who have tried and failed all other methods of weight loss and need a reliable tool to achieve a better quality of life and improve, resolve or prevent many of the diseases related to obesity,” adds Anne Erisman, the bariatric coordinator for the center.
Obesity severity is measured in pounds over ideal body weight. For example, 20 to 50 pounds is considered mild obesity, whereas people more than 100 pounds overweight are considered morbidly obese.
Bariatric weight-loss surgery (primarily gastric bypass and lap banding) reduces a patient’s stomach size to limit the amount of food the body can digest. The procedure is only available to morbidly obese patients who have tried traditional weight-loss strategies and failed.
Registration for the walk is $25 per person, which will be donated to the ASBS Foundation. For more information, visit www.walkfromobesity.com or call Erisman at (513) 475-7770. Participants can register the day of the event, starting at 8:15 a.m.