Friday, March 28, 2008

Marketing Belly-Fat Diet and Exercise Programs

Weight loss centers should emphasize the benefits of maintaining a healthy waistline. A study, authored by Rachel Whitmer of Kaiser Permanente and reported on at CNN.com, shows that high belly fat in a normal weight person can increase the person's chances of getting dementia by 89 percent. And the likelihood of dementia is even higher for a person with high belly fat who is also overweight or obese.

Weight loss centers should institute diet and exercise programs that target belly fat. The centers should then market these programs. The number of dementia cases is expected to increase as Baby Boomers age. Therefore, since Baby Boomers make up a large segment of the population, the associated social and economic problems could be enormous. Hence, establishing and marketing effective belly-fat shrinking programs could be a service line worth considering by weight loss centers.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bariatric Surgery Decreases Mortality in Obese Patients

Bariatric surgery is being used more and more today to fight obesity. And the surgery is effective. However, although bariatric surgery will likely lead to weight loss, there has always been some question as to whether obese patients who have the surgery actually live longer.

Well, a Swedish study goes a long way toward answering the very pertinent question: Does bariatric surgery decrease mortality? The study goes a long way, because, based on the study results, the answer is "yes." Bariatric surgery reduces mortality in obese patients when the weight loss surgery outcomes are compared to those from non-surgical weight loss treatments.

The Swedish study looked at 4047 obese patients where approximately half the patients underwent bariatric surgery, and the other half used non-surgical methods to lose weight. At the end of ten years, there were 129 deaths in the non-bariatric surgery group and 101 deaths in the bariatric surgery group.

So, there was a lower death rate of more than twenty percent for those who had undergone the surgery. We think this is worth noting, and we think this is something surgical weight loss or bariatric centers should emphasize when talking with obese patients who are considering the surgery.

And in marketing their bariatric surgical services, bariatric centers should let potential patients know that the surgery may lengthen a patient's life when compared to non-surgical weight loss treatments the obese patient might choose.
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Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Possible Conflict: Obesity Surgery Could Save Money, But Preventing Obesity May Not Save Money

According to the Australian Medical Association (AMA), obesity surgery for an obese person would save money, since the $10,000 cost of the surgery -- in this case, lap band surgery -- would be recouped in two years because the surgery would save medication costs.

A study done in London seemed to indicate that the cost of preventing obesity is higher than the cost of doing nothing to try to prevent obesity. One of the reasons is this: Preventing obesity would cause people to be healthier, and healthier people would live longer.

And eventually healthier people may die from something more expensive. For example, the cost of lung cancer tends to be less than the cost of Alzheimer's, since many persons with lung cancer don't have long lives, while Alzheimer's sufferers may live a long time.

We believe that there may be some truth to both of the assertions. Bariatric surgery may be cost effective, especially, if the patient is a productive person within society. And some experts view the money spent on end-of-life illnesses, like Alzheimer's, as excessive.

However, we believe that quality of life is an important consideration when it comes to obesity. And obesity usually negatively impacts one's quality of life. Therefore, emphasizing the quality of life benefits of treating obesity should be an important element in any bariatric or weight loss center's marketing campaign.
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