The 432nd Session of the Maryland General Assembly concluded at midnight on Monday, April 7, with its usual confetti release in both the Senate and House Chambers. In this Session, the General Assembly considered 2,693 legislative bills and resolutions and the MedChi Legislative Committee...
Annual Scientific Meeting
The MedChi Annual Scientific Meeting
This event was held on Saturday, December 7, 2013
Topic: Obesity and Weight Management: A Practitioner’s Guide
The incidence of clinically defined obesity in the US has more than doubled since the 1980’s. This represents approximately 34% of the adult population. When combine with those adults who are overweight, but not obese, the number rises to 66%. More than half the adult population in the US is dealing with some form of weight management issue.
The health risks from obesity involve Coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure; high total cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides; type 2 diabetes; certain types of cancers, such as endometrial, breast and colon; liver and gallbladder disease; sleep apnea and respiratory problems; and joint and bone diseases, such as osteoarthritis.
According to the CDC, the overall medical care cost related to obesity in the US for adults is estimated to be as high as $147 billion. The CDC further states that obese people have medical care costs that are $1,429 higher than the cost for people with normal body weight. Further costs are caused through reduced worker productivity and chronic absence from work.
For children and adolescents the numbers are equally troubling. In this group, data indicates that 17% (12.5 million) are obese. From the 1960s to the 1990s the prevalence of obesity amount children and teens increased from 5 % to 15%. While in the last 10 years this rate has slowed and seems to have leveled out, among the heaviest boys, a significant increase in obesity has been reported, with the heaviest getting even heavier. While cases of type 2 diabetes remain low in this population, 15% of the new cases of diabetes were for type 2. Just over 30 years ago, the occurrence of type 2 diabetes was very rare in this age group.
Obesity in this age group can lead to psychosocial problems, cardiovascular risk, high cholesterol and abnormal glucose tolerance or diabetes.
The numbers for Maryland are not much better, though slightly lower than the national averages. The overall rate of obesity for Maryland is 27.1% of adults and 13.6% for children and teens (ages 10-17).
The effect of obesity on the health of patients, both young and old combine with the costs associated with obesity to our health care system cannot be ignored. It will take a number of strategies and approaches from the health care community, patients, and parents to address this serious issue. Further, the recent decision of the AMA to classify Obesity as a disease has added controversy to the overall issue.
MedChi has selected this topic for 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting in an effort to provide our physicians with knowledge and strategies to address this important and complex issue.
A Special thanks to our Sponaors for this Event: