If you’re considering weight loss or bariatric surgery, it’s important to know the pros and cons of these procedures. These surgical procedures can help individuals lose and manage weight, leading to a healthier lifestyle.
Being overweight or obese has many health risks and can also affect life insurance rates. You can get life insurance when you’re overweight, but it may be more costly if you have other health conditions or medical issues. Weight loss surgery can be one tool to keep weight in a healthy range.
First, we will discuss how being overweight or obese can affect health. Next, we will cover the basics of weight loss surgery. Then, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of weight loss surgery and finally, we will cover the connection between good health and life insurance.
How do overweight and obese affect health?
When our weight is above the ideal or healthy range, it can affect our health in many ways. Overweight and obese are risk factors for many chronic health conditions like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Being overweight or obese can also increase the chances of having arthritis, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure.
Obesity can also make it more difficult to complete normal daily activities and exercise. It can also negatively affect mental, emotional, and social wellness. Bariatric surgery is one treatment for overweight and obesity.
The Basics of Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery is also called bariatric surgery. These procedures work to either restrict the number of calories you can eat at one time or restrict the absorption of calories by the body. This caloric reduction can lead to weight loss.
There are different types of weight loss surgery. Some of the most common procedures are gastric bypass, gastric banding, and gastric sleeves. It is important to work with your health care provider and do your own research to determine the best type of surgery because they all have different pros and cons.
Gastric bypass works by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach. From there, food bypasses the stomach and goes straight to the small intestine. This leads to fullness from smaller portions of food and shortens the digestive process so fewer nutrients and calories are absorbed.
Gastric banding or the LapBand procedure uses a small silicone band placed around the top part of the stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch. A small amount of food goes into this pouch before moving to the stomach, which triggers fullness with less food.
The gastric band can also be adjusted to be looser or tighter. This procedure is less invasive than the others, which leads to smaller scars. The band can also be removed in the future.
The gastric sleeve procedure removes up to 80% of the stomach, which results in a much smaller stomach. This smaller stomach requires less food to trigger fullness.
As with any surgery, it is critical to work with your healthcare provider. Make sure the surgeons are qualified and have a good reputation to reduce the risk of complications during the surgery.
The Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery helps individuals eat less or reduce portion sizes, which decreases the number of calories eaten daily. Some may also reduce the number of calories absorbed by the body. This caloric deficit is what leads to weight loss.
Losing weight can be life-changing. Just losing 10% of extra weight can decrease cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and improve blood glucose levels. It can also increase longevity and decrease the risk for many chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Drastic weight loss can also improve quality of life. It can help improve self-esteem, social well-being, and may decrease feelings of anxiety or depression. Attaining a healthy weight may also make it easier to move and be physically active.
The Drawbacks of Weight Loss Surgery
There are many benefits to having bariatric surgery, but that also comes with some drawbacks or risks. First, weight loss surgery is a surgical procedure, which always carries a risk of complications. The risks and complications from this medical procedure are increased if you are extremely obese.
You will need time to recover after surgery. This may mean time away from work, family, and personal obligations. Some procedures require more healing time than others, so this is also something to consider when looking at the different options.
Weight loss surgery can cost more than $10,000. Health insurance may cover some, most, or all of the costs, but there may be certain qualifications you have to meet to be eligible.
The surgery may not work for everyone. It doesn’t address the psychological or emotional factors that influence eating and diet habits. If someone is eating or drinking high-calorie liquid foods or eating high-calorie snacks off and on throughout the day, this may impede weight loss efforts.
Eating smaller portions of food makes it harder to have a balanced diet and can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Some surgeries may also decrease the absorption of calories or other nutrients. Many people will need to take a daily multivitamin to help meet their nutrient needs and to help avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Some individuals may experience other medical issues after bariatric surgery. They have more acid reflux, gallstones or gallbladder issues, or ulcers.
The Bottom Line of Weight Loss Surgery
When it comes to weight loss surgery, you must consider both the pros and cons. There are benefits of weight loss surgery, but also risks. You should also understand and consider the financial implications.
While weight loss surgery can help individuals work toward a healthier lifestyle, it still takes hard work and lifestyle changes. It may sound like there are simple steps to lose weight, but changing your diet and lifestyle can be difficult.
Surgery doesn’t solve issues like being sedentary, mental health problems, or emotional eating. Bariatric surgery is one tool that can help with losing weight but you still have to eat fewer calories and keep an active lifestyle.
Starting and maintaining a physically active lifestyle is also a key component to help with weight management. Not only does exercise have many health benefits, but it also helps expend calories and maintain muscle mass.
It’s also critical for individuals to take care of mental and emotional health before and after weight loss surgery. It may be helpful to attend therapy or counseling for this reason.
Life Insurance and Health
Life insurance is necessary to protect your family in case something unforeseen happens. It can provide financial resources to help pay for end-of-life or burial expenses.
Life insurance rates are based on age, gender, occupation, current health status, and medical history. Young and healthy individuals have the cheapest rates, so living a healthy lifestyle is essential to get the best rates and coverage. You can compare life insurance quotes online or work with an insurance agent to find the best rates.
Weight loss surgery is a personal decision with many benefits and drawbacks. It’s one tool to live a healthy lifestyle in combination with a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Melissa Morris writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, EffortlessInsurance.com. She is a university professor of nutrition, a certified exercise physiologist, and a certified sports nutritionist.