Weight’s a sensitive subject. It can be one of those things you’d rather not have to deal with. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 35.7 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese. While we know health cannot always be defined by what the scale says, we also know that excess weight can increase our risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. A study performed by the American Journal of Public Health found obesity was associated with nearly one in five U.S. deaths.
From a medical perspective, obesity’s defined by a person’s body mass index, or BMI. BMI’s calculated from a person’s weight and height. For instance, if a man is 5’9” and weighs more than 196 pounds, he’s classified as obese. A woman’s classified as obese if she has a height of 5’4” and weighs 174 pounds.
When health care providers screen and treat adults with obesity the result is weight loss and improved health outcomes. Some insurance now covers obesity management to help people achieve better health. For example, Medicare has approved the coverage of obesity management during primary care visits for a year, as long as a weight loss of 6.6 pounds at the six-month mark is achieved. And in 2014, the Patient Accountable and Affordable Care Act also authorized coverage of certain preventive services, including obesity management. Check with your insurance provider to see what BMI range they cover. You can calculate your own BMI using the calculator found here.
Whether you choose to work with your health care provider or develop your own weight-loss plan, remember there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.
It’s important to develop attainable and realistic goals to set yourself up for success. If you can successfully make one small change, you’ll be confident and motivated to make another.
Weight loss isn’t easy, but these tips can help to get you started. By working with your provider or by yourself, you can achieve a healthier weight – and a healthier life.