Obesity is prevalent in America. According to the CDC, about 78 million Americans are obese. The American Society in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) estimates that about 24 million Americans are morbidly obese.

What is obesity?

Obesity is categorized as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. Being obese puts you at greater risk of developing several diseases including type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, cancer, and heart disease. 

There’s a 50 to 100 percent risk of premature death among obese individuals compared to those who maintain a healthy weight.

What contributes to obesity?

Obesity is a combination of several factors including genetics, lifestyle (e.g. eating habits, physical activity, and medications), and contributing factors (e.g. environment, education, and skills).

What’s a long-term solution for obesity?

Several studies have shown the effectiveness of bariatric or weight loss surgery in helping obese individuals. The surgery doesn’t just ‘treat’ the obesity itself but also improves the health conditions that come with it. 

When you consider weight loss surgery, it’s important to know some facts about the procedure:

  1. There are criteria to meet.
    Bariatric surgery is not for everyone. You could be a candidate for weight loss surgery if:
  • You are over 100 lbs of your ideal body weight.
  • You have a BMI of over 40.
  • You have a BMI of 35 and suffer from obesity-related conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes.
  • You are unsuccessful in losing weight for a sustained period of time even with medically-supervised eating.

Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville has a dedicated page that includes a Body Mass Index calculator to help you determine if bariatric surgery is right for you.

  1. There are different types of weight loss surgery.
    Weight loss surgery works by limiting the amount of food you can take or changing how your body absorbs food.

The different types of weight loss procedures utilize either one or a combination of these mechanisms.

  1. Your long-term commitment is required.
    When you sign up for weight loss surgery, you also commit yourself to lifelong changes.

    Adhering to your dietary recommendations and making other necessary lifestyle changes are keys to your weight loss success.  
  2. You will benefit from support groups.
    Your friends and family may be there to listen to your struggles and accompany you in your follow-up appointments, but being part of a support group will keep you going. They will provide you with inspiration, information, and would help keep you accountable in your weight loss journey. 
  3. Most bariatric centers require you to attend their free informational seminar.
    The purpose of these educational sessions is to make sure that you are making a well-informed choice, and it’s often an insurance coverage requirement. You will know more about bariatric surgery and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. You can also ask questions during this seminar.

    Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons offers two options for this seminar – online or in-person. Click here to register.


Obesity can affect your quality of life. If you’re tired of it and looking for a long-term solution, bariatric surgery may help. To check out an upcoming in-person seminar with our surgeons, call (865) 541-4500.