Presently, obesity in the country affects over 100 million adults and 14 million children, thereby accounting for $147 billion worth of annual health care costs.
With these jarring statistics, it is no surprise that Americans are trying numerous ways to lose weight. In a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, almost 63% of adults said they tried to lose weight by exercising and eating less.
Meanwhile, 50% ate more fruits and vegetables. Aside from these more traditional weight loss methods, medical interventions have also gotten more popular of late.
The value of the American medical weight loss market is estimated to have grown by 17% during 2022, with another 10% rise forecasted in 2023.
Since the first weight loss medication was approved in 1959, medical weight loss has been considered a time-tested and science-proven method of leveling out the weight management playing field.
Under a doctor’s supervision, patients under this program take chronic weight loss drugs approved by the FDA. These interventions are highly successful, with newer medications producing an average of 15% weight loss.
That said, there are still a lot of aspects of medical weight loss that remain unclear to the general public.
In this article, we’ll discuss and clarify a few of those misconceptions, so you can gain a better picture of what medical weight loss really is.
Anybody can be eligible for medical weight loss
Some think these medications can be taken merely to improve appearance whenever they feel like they need to shed some weight.
In reality, the FDA has approved these medications only for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 and those with a BMI over 27 who have qualifying health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
In summary, an individual has to be obese and have underlying conditions that put them at risk to qualify.
Apart from this, a healthcare expert is required to oversee the prescription of these interventions, as they may cause certain side effects that some patients may not sit well with.
This further underscores how there are many considerations and nuances to be accounted for when talking about who qualifies for medical weight loss.
They eliminate the need for diet and exercise
A national survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that Americans long for safe and effective drugs for weight loss, but they are often discouraged from pursuing these drugs when they find out it’s not a “magic pill.”
Contrary to popular belief, these drugs are meant to be paired with a healthy diet and exercise. You have to put the work in to allow the drug to help you see results. What is involved in this?
Beyond more exercise,you can also choose to eat healthier in order to assist your body’s natural metabolic processes. Lean meats, healthy fats, herbs, fruits, and vegetables are at one’s disposal when it comes to these.
Green tea serves well as an after-workout refreshment since it limits fat accumulation, too. One of the many things it does is improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, helping the body eliminate excess fat.
Together with chronic weight loss medications, these initiatives can create healthy and sustainable results.
Weight loss supplements are used in medical weight loss
Some people mistakenly assume that diet pills, detox shakes, and other weight loss products are part of medical weight loss.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 15% of U.S. adults have used weight loss supplements at some point in their lives.
But the U.S Government Accountability Office concludes that little is known about whether these supplements are effective, and some have even been associated with the potential for physical harm.
The fact of the matter is medical weight loss drugs only utilize FDA-regulated drugs like Semaglutide (Wegovy), Liraglutide (Saxenda), Naltrexone-Bupropion (Contrave), and Orlistat (Alli and Xenical).
These medications have been proven safe and effective in addressing excess weight, given how they can suppress appetites and prevent fat absorption.
While medical weight loss interventions can prove helpful, it’s important to understand the finer details of this approach. By being well-informed and guided by a healthcare expert, it’s easier to know whether this effective program is right for you.