Other than smoking or substance abuse, obesity is going to be a major factor in determining who lives well into their golden years, and who doesn’t.
Carrying too much extra weight (obesity) is especially hazardous to an aging body’s vital organs. You don’t have to look very far to see that obesity is affecting many adults — just look around at the other diners the next time you are dining out. More than likely, you’ll see that about 50 percent of the other adult diners need to lose 30 or more pounds, minimally.
Obese older adults face greater health risks
For people over 40, the extra weight can eventually wreak havoc with your health. Obesity increases inflammation in the body which weakens the immune system and opens the door to a plethora of serious chronic conditions and this susceptibility increases with age:
- heart disease
- high cholesterol / stroke risk
- bone and muscle loss and weakness
It used to be thought that older people would not respond to treatment for obesity due to their slowing metabolism, reluctance to change their lifestyle and physical limitations preventing exercise.
Study after study has proven this to be 100 percent false. See how these 40+ New Jerseyans chose weight loss surgery and changed their lives.
Ready to lose the weight? After age 50, don’t go it alone
The reality is by age 50, many people are already living with a chronic disease or using some kind of medication regularly. If you fit into this age category, meet with your primary healthcare doctor to go over your weight loss goals before you start a plan to lose weight or start a fitness program.
Depending on your current health, your doctor may recommend a program or lifestyle change you hadn’t even considered. He may also run some tests to ensure your body is healthy enough to undergo a particular program.
If you are taking any medications regularly, bring them all with you and talk with the doctor about any potential issues.
Once you are medically cleared, your lifestyle and weight loss improvement plan generally follows that of someone in their 30’s or 40’s, just with closer medical supervision.
Older patients are often great candidates for bariatric surgery
Last spring, I performed gastric sleeve weight loss surgery on a 58-year-old female patient from Freehold, New Jersey, who lost 110 pounds by the end of the year. She had originally assumed she was “too old” for this operation but her OB-GYN disagreed and advised her to see me for a consultation.
Today, she no longer has type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. She walks five times a week and lifts weights the other two days.
Without question, just by consulting with her doctor, she has added years to her life and more money in her wallet since she no longer requires insulin or blood pressure medication.
Today, older adults are living well into their 80’s and 90’s, thanks to modern medicine. There is no reason to let the extra weight complicate or lessen the quality of your rich life ahead.
You’ve worked hard your whole life; be as healthy as you can be to truly enjoy your golden years.
Are you losing the weight loss battle?
Once your metabolism starts to slow down, or you are using certain medications that may impede weight reduction, it may be time to investigate other options. If you have type 2 diabetes, a BMI over 35, a bariatric weight loss solution could be the right choice for you.
I offer free monthly open seminars where I talk about the different bariatric weight loss operations and answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to make an appointment in our Freehold office (732-982-2002) where we can talk in more detail about your weight loss goals.
Just because you’re a little older doesn’t mean you have to accept obesity. You have many good years ahead of you — we’re here to help you live them as healthfully as possible.
Have a question or concern? Please post a comment below.
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
Dr. Seun is a top NJ bariatric surgeon and the medical director at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. He is board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained in advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgery.
To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.