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.

We’re Open Tomorrow

No time to see your doctor during regular business hours? No problem!

Dr. Chiapone Ting and Physician Assistant Susan Budowsky will be seeing patients at our Hallandale Beach office tomorrow Saturday, Oct 13th from 9AM to 12PM.

Call (954) 454-6300 to make an appointment, walk-ins are also welcomed.

 
Safecare Hallandale Beach
1117 E Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Chiapone Ting, MD

Susan Budowsky, PA-C

Let Us Answer Your Questions About Open Enrollment

The Annual Enrollment Period for 2019 coverage is right around the corner!

Our on-site Medicare expert can answer all your questions regarding the Annual Enrollment Period.

David Montesino, our on-site Medicare expert, will be available at both Safecare Medical Center locations. You can contact David Montesino at (954) 709-8275 to schedule an appointment to discuss your Medicare needs or you can drop in at any time during his on-site office hours listed below:

Hallandale Beach Office: 
Wed. October 10th from 10 am to 1 pm
Wed. October 24th from 10 am to 1 pm
1117 E Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
(954)454-6300

Hollywood Office: 
Tues. October 9th from 10 am to 1 pm
Tues. October 23rd from 10 am to 1 pm
4050 D Sheridan St.
Hollywood, FL 33021
(954)989-7441

Come visit us, we look forward to serving you!

 

Simple Steps To Avoid Getting The Flu

As the holidays and cooler days approach, so does the higher chance of getting the flu.

But how can we avoid the flu completely? Although there is no sure way to avoid it entirely, you can take simple steps to prevent falling prey to the flu by getting the annual flu shot, washing your hands regularly, eating a healthy diet, exercising, drinking enough fluids to maintain good hydration, consuming vitamin C, and taking precautions when caring or spending time with some one that already has the virus.

Talk to your doctor for a more personalized preventative treatment. The flu can be a very debilitating illness that you want to avoid.

Arm yourself for the season, get your flu shot early and stay healthy during the upcoming holidays and winter days.

Call our Hollywood office at (954) 989-7441 or our Hallandale Beach office at (954) 454-6300 for more information regarding the annual flu shot and to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome, see our office hours for more details.

 

 

Closed for Labor Day

Our offices will be closed on Monday, September 3, 2018, in observance of Labor Day. We will reopen at our regular business hours on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Call us at 954-454-6300 to make an appointment. Have a happy, healthy and safe holiday weekend!

 

Cigna Ranks Safecare’s Physicians as Top Performers

Congratulations to Chiapone Ting, MD FACP, and Richard Wilbur, MD FACP, for being awarded the Cigna Care Designation (CCD)!

Cigna has evaluated Safecare Medical Center’s physicians and has determined that Chiapone Ting MD, FACP, and Richard Wilbur, MD FACP, are top performers in both quality of care and cost efficiency in their specialty. Our physicians will be listed in the Cigna directory with the highest ratings for cost and quality. Some Cigna plans may even offer their members a lower co-pay for utilizing a CCD provider!

Thank you to Chiapone Ting MD, FACP, and Richard Wilbur, MD FACP, for continuously striving to provide our patients with the highest quality care available.

The Importance of Hydration

Proper hydration is essential to good health and optimum energy all year around and more specifically while exercising and during the hot summer season. The human body needs water to maintain normal body functions such as body temperature and flushing out toxins. Yet many times we don’t even know we are already in a state of dehydration until uncomfortable symptoms occur such as extreme thirst, fatigue, lightheadedness, headaches, and constipation just to name a few. It is important to drink before you feel thirsty and maintain a habit of drinking water throughout the day for better health.

hydration-benefitsHow much water should you drink during the day?

Well, it can vary depending on your body weight, level of physical activity in and outdoors and health conditions. The average recommendation is 6 to 8 8oz glasses per day but those with moderate to high levels of physical activity need to increase their water intake before, during and after exercise.

Recommendations for hydration while exercising:

  • 20 to 30 minutes before exercise: Drink at least 8 oz. of water
  • During exercise: Consume 7-10 oz. of water every 10-20 minutes
  • Within 30 minutes after exercising: Drink at least 8 oz. of water

It may be uncomfortable to drink what may seem like a lot of water for one day as you may feel full and have many trips to the bathroom, but once your body gets used to the adequate water intake you will feel more energized and your body will surely use up the fluids for better functioning.

Develop healthy habits to staying hydrated:

  • Keep a log of your water intake, aim for 6 to 8 glasses per day and schedule reminders to drink fluids.
  • Keep a reusable water bottle and drink from it throughout the day.
  • Keep your water fresh in cool or room temperature, whichever you like best.
  • Try out different natural flavorings for your water… cucumber-watermelon anyone?
  • Sodas and processed juices are not healthy replacements for water.
  • AVOID dehydration!

Dehy_SafecareIf dehydration occurs, seek help immediately, rest in a cool place and avoid any further exertion.

Speak to your doctor to find out more about adequate hydration habits to parallel your health condition and activity level.

Keep a well hydrated body for vitality and energy to enjoy the sunny season.

Safecare Will Be Closed on July 4th!

Our offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th in observance of our Independence Day.

We will reopen at our regular business hours on Thursday, July 5th.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday.

Let’s Get Walking!

Walking can have significant benefits to your physical health and mental well-being. A simple brisk walk will increase your cardiovascular health, improve your mood and could even enhance your social skills.

What is the best way to enjoy a nice walk?

For starters, get the right gear. Comfortable shoes made for running and walking and loose fitted or sports clothing are the best alternative for exercise.

Start slow. If you are new to exercise, have been recovering from illness or have any medical concerns, start with a gentle walk and slowly build up to where you want to go. Remember to consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

Stay hydrated. Keep water handy during your walking course. Don’t wait to feel thirsty to enjoy a nice refreshing beverage.

Wear Sunblock. Especially if walking under the South Florida Sun, wear protective lotion, hats and clothing that help avoid burning. Try to stay under the shaded areas whenever possible.

Know your path. Avoid cracked sideways and potholes and blocked pavements that could cause a fall.

Warm up for a 5-10 minutes before activity and cool down for another 5-10 after your walk.

Stretch gently after your cool down.

Grab a pen and set your walking schedule on your calendar. Invite a friend or relative, plan your routes and enjoy the benefits of this simple yet very beneficial exercise. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Happy 100th Birthday, Yolanda Bruscino!

We are so honored to have you as a patient and look forward to celebrating many more years with you.

Wishing you many happy returns!

 

 

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