Despite nearly identical obesity rates, men seek bariatric surgery dramatically less often than women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than one third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity. Of those hundreds of millions of adults, the distribution between male and female adults considered obese is nearly even. Why is it then, that women undergo surgical weight-loss procedures in such greater numbers than men?
That is the question that researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine wanted to answer in a study sizing up the gender disparity related to U.S. men and women seeking out bariatric surgery.
Published in the Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques, the study found that 80 percent of patients undergoing bariatric procedures were female, despite the nearly equal occurrence of obesity in male and female populations.
The eye-opening results of the study become even more impactful when considering the negative effects that obesity can have on an individual’s life. The CDC indicates that obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, all of which are some of the leading causes of preventable death.
So why is it that men seek out bariatric surgery options far less than women? The San Diego School of Medicine researchers hypothesized a number of factors, including that men are less likely to have health insurance, are less concerned with health until later in life when more serious conditions occur, and may have a different body image perspective than do women.
Data from a Kansas State University study support the variances in male-versus-female body dissatisfaction. Study highlights found “prevalence of body dissatisfaction among U.S. women ranges between 13.4% and 31.8%, while body dissatisfaction among men ranges between 9.0% and 28.4%.
Numbers and genders aside, bariatric surgery can be an emotional decision filled with unknowns for both men and women. Is it right for me? Will my insurance cover it? What will life be like after? Are my friends and family going to think I’ve given up or taken the easy way out? Will I be okay?
Knowledge can make the entire process less overwhelming and minimize your stress. Patient education is an integral part of each person’s treatment in the program. At Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center, all potential patients are required to attend an information session hosted by program staff and one of our surgeons. There is no cost for these lectures, and individuals are under no obligation to move forward with a surgical weight loss procedure. Our goal is to provide access to accurate, up-to-date information about surgical weight loss to empower men and women to make the decision that only they can.
Questions range in intensity for every individual, but these are some that we have commonly encountered.
Is bariatric surgery is even right for me?
Every individual case is unique. If you are considering bariatric surgery, find out if it is right for you with the enclosed direct referral opportunity to the Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center, where you can meet one-on-one with our team of experts to determine the best steps forward.
Is insurance a concern?
Bon Secours Health System has an experienced, trusted insurance coordinator who many patients have come to know as helpful and understanding. We are here to help you navigate the insurance landscape.
What will other people think about me getting weight loss surgery?
Surgery is just one step on your lifelong journey towards whole health. Friends and family who will witness your comprehensive wellness transformation will understand the true nature of the Bon Secours nutrition and surgical weight-loss programs.
Will I be okay?
Surgery allows you to take control. Current research tells us weight-loss surgery can improve or resolve associated health conditions in nearly 90 percent of cases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more.
The strengths of the Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center are surgical experience, the latest in technology, and our commitment to a comprehensive approach to surgical weight loss. If you are in need, the Bon Secours’ proven bariatric programs are here to help you reclaim your health.