Understanding Obesity

Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. An estimated one-third of our adult population is now considered obese and, unfortunately, these numbers continue to rise nearly every year. Obesity is currently the second leading cause of early, preventable death, second only to smoking. Also, the treatment of obesity and weight-related medical problems now accounts for more health care dollars than any other single medical problem.

Ask the Expert: Bariatric Surgery vs. Diet and Exercise

In this video, Katherine Lamond, M.D., M.S. FACS, director, Bariatric Surgery, provides answers about weight loss surgery as part of Sibley’s Ask the Expert series. She addresses how weight loss surgery can make all the difference in maintaining long-term weight loss as well as improve chronic conditions only treatable with medication.

What Causes Obesity?

Obesity is a complex disease of excess fat storage which results when calories consumed exceeds calories burned over a prolonged period of time. Sadly, obesity is often misinterpreted as simply a lack of will-power, when in reality, it is a much more complicated situation. There are often numerous other factors involved which can affect weight, including genetic, hormonal, metabolic, and environmental factors.

Health Risks

Morbid obesity is typically diagnosed when a patient weighs approximately 100 pounds or more over his or her ideal body weight. This excess weight has a profound impact on our bodies and on our health. Morbid obesity often leads to a decreased quality of life and a reduced life expectancy. Additionally, it significantly increases the risk of developing numerous weight-related medical problems such as:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure / heart disease
  • Dyslipidemia / high cholesterol
  • Osteoarthritis / joint problems
  • Depression
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Urinary stress incontinence
  • Reproductive problems
  • Cancer

Treatment Options

There are many different options available for the treatment of morbid obesity. Medical treatment options may include diet and exercise programs, medications, or behavioral therapy. Unfortunately, in the severely obese patient, these methods often do not provide significant or lasting weight loss. Numerous studies have demonstrated that surgery provides the most effective treatment for morbid obesity. Successful weight loss surgery has been shown to:

  • Provide both significant and sustained weight loss
  • Improve or resolve most weight-related medical problems
  • Increase life expectancy
  • Improve the quality of life
  • Reduce health care costs


Please fill out our contact us form or you can call us at 202-370-6565 to learn more about how Sibley Memorial Hospital can help you today.

About Sibley Weight Loss

Our weight loss surgery center at Sibley is different from most others. Here at Sibley we offer a “one-stop shop” where patients can have nearly all of their pre- and post-operative care in a convenient and compassionate setting. We realize the weight loss surgery process can be confusing, so we work closely with our patients to ensure safe and successful outcomes.

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5255 Loughboro Road N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016

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