chronic disease

To Manage Chronic Disease, Obesity Focus Helps

A central goal for well-run workplace wellness programs is to help members manage chronic disease — it not only improves personal health, but also helps businesses manage overall health costs.

And a key aspect of managing chronic disease, of course, is managing obesity.

We recently reported on a new JAMA study is titled “Differences in Obesity Prevalence by Demographic Characteristics and Urbanization Level Among Adults in the United States, 2013-2016. ”The study asks a simple question: ” During 2013-2016, were there differences in the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity by demographics and urbanization level among US adults?”

The authors write: “Differences in obesity by sex, age group, race and Hispanic origin among US adults have been reported, but differences by urbanization level have been less studied. To provide estimates of obesity by demographic characteristics and urbanization level and to examine trends in obesity prevalence by urbanization level.”

We also reported that the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force has issued a Draft Recommendation Statement on the role of behavioral interventions titled “Weight Loss to Prevent Obesity-Related Morbidity and Mortality in Adults: Behavioral Interventions.”

The Task Force exists because, as the group states, “Since 1998, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has been authorized by the U.S. Congress to convene the Task Force and to provide ongoing scientific, administrative, and dissemination support to the Task Force.”

The report concludes: “The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that offering or referring adults with obesity to intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions (i.e., behavior-based weight loss and weight loss maintenance interventions) has a moderate net benefit.”

Now MedPage Today asks: “Is it possible to be fat and fit?”

MedPage reports that Prakash Deedwania, MD, of the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine says: “Obesity is never healthy; it’s just a question of time. You can be fat and fit, and you will probably be okay for a little while. But to remain fat and fit is difficult. Most obese people will convert to a metabolically unhealthy state.”

The post continues: “Nearly 38% of U.S. adults are obese and another 33% are overweight. And about 35% of American adults — including nearly 50% of those age 60 years or older — are estimated to have metabolic syndrome.”

“Metabolic syndrome is worse than obesity,” MedPage quotes Carl Lavie, MD, of the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans. “Although abdominal obesity is one of the components of metabolic syndrome, some people without abdominal obesity have metabolic syndrome and some obese people do not.”