Health Watch — Weight Loss: Needing Surgery

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about losing weight. For many of us, stocking our kitchens with healthy foods, eating a balanced diet and avoiding processed foods is enough to help us get our weight to a healthy range. But some people may need to take more extreme measures, such as bariatric surgery for weight loss.

People with a body-mass index, or BMI, of over 40 are generally considered to be morbidly obese, at around 100 pounds over their recommended weight. This is the point when surgery is considered. But Dr. Edward Livingston, a gastrointestinal surgeon at
UT Southwestern Medical Center, says there are people with a lower BMI who may be at risk for heart disease or diabetes from their weight because of the way their bodies store fat. The doctors recommend that guidelines be changed to recommend surgery at lower BMI levels for high-risk patients.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in bariatrics.


August 2008

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.