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For your health: A war against obesity

POSTED: July 14, 2014 1:00 a.m.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is an epidemic in the United States.

Obesity not only affects adults, but more and more we are seeing our young people diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, joint pain and other diseases usually associated with an older population.

Unless we fight this battle and win the war against obesity, our children are more likely to become ill, immobile and no longer able to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.

It’s easy to think of weight issues — even trying to lose as little as 10 pounds — as a battle. Certain foods can be almost as dangerous as a land mine. To your right flank or right hip are chocolate chip cookies, to your left is a cake or bag of chips. Bringing up the rear literally is everything else you ate today.

Unless we outrun, or exercise, the enemy such as extra calories are bound to catch up to us.

Those of us who have battled our weight most of our lives have lost hundreds of pounds, only to regain what was lost and then some. For many, this war rages for years until one day we brave the darkness and receive word there may be a weapon against this enemy known as obesity. This weapon, or tool, is bariatric weight loss surgery.

So, with the good news of a truce or even peace on the horizon, you take the risk and start a new frontal assault.

For the first 12 to 18 months after surgery, the lifelong war looks like it could finally come to an end. You have lost so much weight, and you feel the best you have felt in years. Oh, and you look good, too! Your health is greatly improved. You can walk without getting winded. Life is good, and you are at peace.

After two years, the thought of regaining the weight scares you to death. The fear of yet another battle is heavy on your mind. However, you are a “veteran” of the past war, and you can stop the battle before it begins.

So, how do you do this?

Gather your troops of fellow veterans of weight-loss surgery together to fight the enemy. There is always strength in numbers. It is your time to put the enemy off guard and win the battle against regaining weight before it has time to gather ammunition.

While weight-loss surgery is not the answer for everyone, it can have a profound effect on a person’s life and, for many, extend their life.

At Northeast Georgia Medical Center, we offer surgical and nonsurgical options to help you live a healthy life. For more information, call Rita Shingleton at 770-219-0446.

Start winning the war against obesity today!

Rita Shingleton is a registered nurse and bariatric weight loss program manager at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.


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