Women and Obesity – Parham Doctors’ Hospital

Women and Obesity – Parham Doctors’ Hospital


(techno music) – I’m Dr. Elizabeth Barrett, I’m a general minimally-invasive and bariatric surgeon with HCA’s Advanced Surgical
partners of Virginia. I became interested in general surgery because of the ability
to take care of a patient throughout their entire course of illness from admission to all
forms of their therapy, medical therapy, operative therapy, and then postoperative management. My interest in bariatric
surgery was coupled with that desire to help patients and also help provide counseling
and lifestyle guidance. And as well as helping people live a healthier and more active life. General surgery involves
taking care of a wide variety of issues, gallbladders,
hernias, bowel obstruction. However, my primary focus
is weight loss surgery and treating obesity
with surgical therapy. So the commonly used definition of obesity is being approximately
100 pounds overweight or we use the body mass index or BMI which is a ratio of your height in meters to your weight in kilograms. When we’re talking about BMI, we talk about ideal body weight being between about 18 and 25, overweight being 25 and 30. We start using the word
obese at a BMI of 30. And then we talk about severe
obesity between 35 and 40. And then we start using
the word morbid obesity at around a BMI of 40. And morbid obesity means obesity that is causing medical problems. There are many factors
that contribute to obesity. Certainly our genes and our family history play a major role. However, our diet and our activity level are also very important
in controlling our weight. So truly it’s the interplay
of our genes, our diet, and our exercise that will
contribute to our weight and ultimately can contribute
to obesity over time. Obesity is certainly on the rise worldwide and particularly in the United States. We now have more than 2/3 of
our population is overweight. And the proportion of
obesity is increasing, particularly in certain groups
such as women and children. Obesity is more prevalent
in women than in men. And some of that is linked
to the fact that women by definition have a
little bit more fat storage to help with childbearing. Women have some different
struggles when it comes to weight because as we go
through our phases of life many of us go through
pregnancy and childbirth and then nursing and then
maybe multiple pregnancies. And there’s a lot of
variations in our weight and in our health that go along with them. And that’s a unique challenge for women. Because we do undergo maybe 30, 40, 50, even 80 pound weight
swings as we go through some of these major life events. These weight swings can be hard to control with just diet and exercise, especially if you’re a
new mother with a baby trying to exercise and watch your weight as well as you can. This can be a time that
is a very challenging time for women. Unfortunately many women
are still identifying their self worth with their weight. And we struggle a lot with our self image when we struggle with our weight. In addition, often women
are the primary caregivers in a family, either for
very young children, school age children or
their other family members. This can often make it that
they are having a hard time making time for themselves,
making time to do exercise, or even to meal plan for
ideally healthy meals. Many working women have
a hard time struggling with the balances of a
career and family life, as well as, taking care of their health in an optimal fashion. There are several factors
that are very important before undertaking weight loss surgery. But the first and foremost among them is the willingness to undergo a significant lifestyle change. To change your diet,
your exercise routine, and to undergo surgery to help change your anatomy that will
support that lifestyle change. (techno music)

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