As many as four million Americans suffer from clinically severe obesity. In 1991, confronting this widespread disease, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) assembled a group of healthcare experts from several related scientific disciplines. The stated purpose was to consider all aspects of this disease and to make recommendations regarding treatment options. The following quote is taken from the (NIH) Report:
"Dietary regimens fail to provide long-term weight control in severely obese patients. For those who have failed such programs, surgery (Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass) is recognized as an effective treatment available to provide significant weight loss and long-term weight control. Weight reduction surgery has been reported to improve quality of life and associated diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, pulmonary disease, and cholesterol levels. Patients may be considered for surgery who meet the criteria, understand possible complications and agree to comply with the post-operative regimen of dietary and physical lifestyle changes. The operation should be performed by surgeons experienced with Roux-en-Y Gastric bypass surgery."
The results of the NIH meetings were published in the 1991 Consensus Report. This report drew these conclusions:
- Clinically severe obesity is defined as weight in excess of 100 pounds over the Ideal Calculated
- Weight or somewhat less than 100 pounds if there is a serious associated condition
- Success in most cases of non-surgical therapy is only temporary,
- Most patients with clinically severe obesity have an organic, genetically based disease
- Psychological and social issues contribute to clinically severe obesity, but are not fundamental causes
- Clinically severe obesity results in a mortality rate of about 10 times that of the general population in the same age group
- Clinically severe obesity results in many serious medical, psychological social and economic problems
- Dietary regimens fail to provide long-term weight control in severely obese patients
We concur with these findings and have developed a program which incorporates these and other important aspects into a multidisciplinary approach for treating the disease of clinically severe obesity.