Obese Patients Present a Weighty Problem

Mary Ann Porucznik

Obesity is a big problem in the United States, where two thirds of the population is either overweight (body mass index [BMI] of 25 to 29.9) or obese (BMI of 30 or higher). That presents an issue—not only for orthopaedists and other medical specialists—but also for policymakers trying to find ways to cut healthcare costs.

At the AAOS Now forum, “Obesity, Orthopaedics, and Outcomes,” held prior to the 2013 AAOS Annual Meeting in Chicago, S. Terry Canale, MD, AAOS Now editor-in-chief, outlined the immensity of the problem. In his own office, for example, during a 2-month period (Jan. 2–March 2, 2013), 84 of 517 patients (16 percent) met the criteria for obesity; nearly 25 percent of those patients had type III obesity (BMI of 40 or higher).

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