While America is commonly known as the country with an overweight population, the United Kingdom has 37.9% overweight and obese individuals. Bariatric surgery is a proven tool to overcome excess body fat. Based on the body mass index (BMI), Britain people can qualify to receive weight loss surgery.
The top six fattest countries in the world: the U.S.A., New Zealand, Australia, U.K., Canada, and Ireland, are all English-speaking – OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development).
According to a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, more than two million people in England in the obese or morbidly obese category are suitable candidates for weight loss surgery. The 2014 research data showed that retired women with lower educational status had the highest rate among people in the United Kingdom who need bariatric and metabolic surgery.
Bariatric surgery, or weight-loss surgery, includes a collection of operations to help people lose weight. They work by reducing the stomach size to reduce how much a person can eat, including feeling fuller faster and being put off by larger meals. By cutting the stomach, the hormones are altered, leading to a metabolic system reset. Losing weight with the help of weight loss procedures reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, and Type II Diabetes, as well as regulating blood pressure and cholesterol level.
Weight Loss Surgery Options
The weight loss therapies include laparoscopic (surgical) and endoscopic (non-surgical) procedures. The surgical treatment of obesity consists of popular gastric sleeve and RNY gastric bypass. Incisionless procedures like gastric balloon and Endo-sleeve are reserved for patients with a BMI of less than 35. UK residents who qualify for weight loss surgery have several options. The most common ones are the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable lap band, and vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Each surgery has its pros and cons, but all have one thing in common: they have been shown to be successful in helping people to trim down.
Cost of Bariatric Procedures in U.K.
Obesity rates have been rising in England, but the number of people getting weight loss surgery is declining. To be a prospect for a diabesity operation, you need to have a BMI of 40 or 35 with comorbidities. Each bariatric surgery costs NHS (National Health Service) about £10,000 on average. Despite the cost-effectiveness of bariatric operations, only about 10,000 Britons receive these life-saving procedures yearly.
The Study of UK Overweight Residents
The UK research study not only looked at the number of people who meet the surgery criteria but also tried to find out why there are no cheap bariatric surgery rates in the country. The high number of overweight or obese individuals may be due to,
- Socioeconomic groups
- Lack of proper healthcare coverage for weight loss surgery
- Lack of awareness of surgery and its benefits
Funding cuts may also contribute to the low number of weight loss surgeries performed for many eligible individuals who are also in a lower economic status. This data revealed that approximately two million people in the UK are qualified for weight loss surgery, a surprisingly higher number than recently suspected. But very few people who are eligible for surgery are getting it. The NHS has tried providing clear guidelines regarding who can get the surgery. NHS is changing the minimum BMI eligibility, but it has not changed the fact that more people in England are not volunteering for this surgery to help lose weight.
The researchers aimed to identify why more people are not asking for this life-changing operation. The next step is to figure out how to educate more people in the UK about their obesity and how damaging it is to their physical and mental health and quality of life. English population needs to know that they may be eligible for weight loss surgery. With so many options, they should let residents choose based on the type of procedure, the typical results, and the possible risks or complications. Still, with around two million people in the country facing obesity or morbid obesity, there should be a rise in weight loss surgery requests.