Fun Times At Safecare

Birthdays, laughter, community, friendships… BINGO!!  We had a terrific time during game day at our Hollywood office on October 19th.

We love hosting games and activities where our patients and members of our local community can have a great time and get to know each other.  Check our events page and join us for our next activity.  We look forward to having you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obesity: An On-going Epidemic

Obesity is one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. Health care expenditures for obese Americans accounted for 35% of all costs in 2006, or $303 billion, (Mr. Obama take note). This has increased from $167 billion in 2001. From 2001 to 2006 the number of obese Americans increased from 48 million to 59 million people. The day I wrote this article 45% of the patients I saw in my office practice were obese.

Obesity is a condition where excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it adversely affects your health. Most people recognize obesity on sight. A medical degree is not necessary to make the diagnosis. A good estimate of obesity is to calculate a number called body mass index (BMI). This number is obtained by measuring a personʼs height and weight and applying a simple formula. I do it for every patient in my office practice. A normal healthy value for BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. From 25-29.9 a person is considered to be “overweight”. Anything above 30 is “obese”. Anything above 40 is considered “morbidly obese”, and above 50 “super obese”.

Obesity is a leading cause of death worldwide. A BMI of 30-35 reduces a personʼs life expectancy by 2-4 years. A BMI of more than 40 reduces life expectancy for men by 20 years and for women by 5 years.

Many common diseases are strongly associated with obesity particularly heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties during sleep, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. It is estimated that obesity is the cause of 64% of the cases of Type 2 diabetes in men and 77% of the cases in women.

Obesity is caused by a combination of excessive dietary calories (eating too much), lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. In the American society the increased rates of obesity are felt to be due to easy accessibility of food and an increased reliance on cars and mechanized manufacturing. Our diets contain an increased percentage of processed fatty foods and sugars, and less whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The alarming increase in childhood obesity correlates with increased time spent watching T.V. and playing video games, as well as a poor diet.

The primary treatment for obesity is dieting and physical exercise. In my practice I find most people have trouble doing either. Diets may produce weight loss over the short term, but keeping weight off is a problem and requires making exercise and a lower calorie diet a permanent part of your lifestyle. Success rates long- term are low (2-20%). Commercial diet programs like Jenny Craig, Weight-Watchers, or Nutri-Systems can be useful to help achieve weight loss.

Exercise alone in sufficient quantity will produce weight loss. In one study, during 20 weeks of basic military training with no dietary restrictions, obese military recruits lost an average of 27.6 pounds.

If diet and exercise alone fail, anti-obesity drugs may be tried to reduce appetite or inhibit fat absorption. Only 2 drugs are approved for long term use by the FDA. Meridia (an appetite suppressant), and Orlistat (inhibits fat absorption). Other drugs may be prescribed on a short term basis (usually 3 months or less).

For morbidly obese individuals, the last resort is Bariatric surgery, which reduces the ability to eat large quantities and absorb calories. These procedures have risks, but can be very successful at producing significant and permanent weight reduction. 

The potential benefits of weight reduction are significant. In one study intentional weight loss of any amount was associated with a 20% reduction in all-cause mortality.

Obesity is an extremely common problem and a very serious health concern. It goes far beyond cosmetics. It is an excellent reason to visit your doctor and begin a discussion. Getting your weight under control will improve your appearance, your energy level, and your health.

Written by Richard J. Wilbur, M.D., Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

Flu Prevention

Join us at our Hollywood office for an interesting health discussion on preventing and treating the flu. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Adult Vaccinations

Each year between 50,000 and 70,000 adults in the U.S. die from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines.  Some adults are reluctant to be vaccinated because they believe that side effects from vaccines are severe or cause the illnesses they are supposed to prevent. These claims are not backed up by scientific research. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting vaccinated.

 

1) Immunity may fade

Some vaccines do not give lifetime immunity. Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is on the rise in the U.S., and is an example of what can happen when a person is immunized only as a child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a one-time adult booster shot for Pertussis (given in combination with vaccines for tetanus and diphtheria).

 

2) Some adults were not completely vaccinated as children

Recommended catch-up vaccines:

  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) a single combined shot
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

 

 

3) Some vaccines did not exist

Two new vaccines became available in 2006:

  • Herpes Zoster (Shingles). For adults age 60 and older.
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) the cause of cervical cancer, genital warts, and other disease. For woman 26 years old and below.

 

4) As you age, common infections are more likely to cause serious disease.

  • Adults 60 and older o Herpes Zoster Vaccine (Shingles). This prevents a painful reactivation of chickenpox.
  • Adults (especially ages 65 and older) o Influenza vaccine annually given in fall and winter. o Pneumonia vaccine given once. Prevents some forms of pneumonia.

 

Medicare covers some adult vaccinations and private insurance is improving as the importance to public health of adult vaccinations becomes better understood. The best way to be sure you are up to date with the recommended vaccines is to discuss your personal situation with your physician.

Written by Richard J. Wilbur, M.D. is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

Please ask our staff if you have any questions regarding this subject matter or make an appointment for your vaccinations today! Thank you.

 

Happy Birthday!

Celebrating our Dr. Chiapone Ting on his birthday!  We wish him many happy returns and good health.

 

 

 

Flu Prevention

Join us at our Hallandale Beach office for an interesting health discussion on preventing and treating the flu. You wont want to miss it.

Bingo Is Back!

Join us at our Hollywood office this Thursday, September 21st for a fun game and great prizes.  

See ya there!

 

Open on Saturday 9/16/17

Our Hallandale Beach office will open on Saturday, September 16th from 9AM to 12PM.

Call us at (954) 454-6300 to make your appointment, walk-ins are also welcome.

We wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Stop By

Our offices are now open to serve you at our regular schedule. Call us at 954-454-6300 to make an appointment, walk-ins are also welcome. Electric and phone services are again running smoothly at both of our locations.

We wish a speedy recovery to all affected by the hurricane.

Hurricane Irma

Our offices will be closed on Friday, September 8th in preparation of Hurricane Irma. We will also close on Monday as we assess the condition of our offices after the storm. Any events or appointments scheduled for those days are now canceled. We expect to open on Tuesday, September 12th to continue serving our communities, call us at 954-454-6300 to re-schedule your doctor’s appointment.
We wish you all a safe time in the coming days.

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