Overweight and Obesity: Stormont Vail and the Top US Health Concern

Obesity is the number one health concern in the country, and it’s one of our top concerns at Stormont Vail Health.

You may be considered overweight or obese if your weight is higher than the healthy weight for your height.

We start by calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a measure of your body fat, based on height and weight. Then, we compare it to a chart to determine your weight range:

  • Less than 18.5: Underweight
  • 18.5 to less than 25: Normal weight
  • 25.0 to less than 30: Overweight
  • 30.0 or higher: Obese

There are many factors that can put you at risk for problems with weight. A family history of overweight or obesity, black or Hispanic ethnicity, or having certain medical conditions (e.g., polycystic ovary syndrome or sleep apnea) can increase your risk of being overweight or obese.

Lack of physical activity, poor diet, high stress levels, and not getting enough sleep can all contribute to your weight gain. Fortunately, unhealthy lifestyle habits can often be improved.

With your determination, and guidance from the experts at Stormont Vail, you can start taking steps to develop healthier habits that will keep you at a healthy weight.

What is Overweight and Obesity — and What Does it Mean for Our Community Health?

In Shawnee County — where Stormont Vail Hospital is located — more than 33% of our adults are obese, compared to 31% in the state.

  • 68% of adults in Shawnee County are overweight or obese
  • 33.7% of adults in Shawnee County are obese
  • 34.9% of adults in Shawnee County are overweight
  • 16.7% of Shawnee County is living below poverty level, and 9.7% of this population does not have easy access to a grocery store

Being overweight or obese doesn’t just affect how you look — more importantly, it affects the health of your entire body.

If you are overweight or obese, you have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems, back pain, liver disease, or certain types of cancer. You may also be at risk for emotional health problems, such as depression or low self-esteem.

What Are the Keys to Addressing Overweight and Obesity Community-Wide?

In order to decrease the prevalence of overweight and obesity in our community, we need to make several changes. Some of these changes include:

  • Easier access to healthy foods
  • Lower cost of healthy foods
  • Improved education on healthy living
  • Increased access to exercise options
  • Implementation of community events and programs about healthy lifestyles

For patients who are already overweight or obese, we also need to ensure that they have access to health care services for complications (e.g., an endocrinologist to manage diabetes or a cardiologist to address heart disease).

How Stormont Vail Can Help You

We want our patients to have the resources they need to maintain a healthy weight and avoid becoming overweight or obese. That’s why we offer programs and resources to our community, including:

  • HealthWise: The free HealthWise program provides up-to-date health information and access to educational programs. Members have access to special clinics, including ones for high blood pressure and nutrition. While many of the programs are geared towards adults over age 50, anyone is welcome to join.
  • Wellpower: This community health program arms you with the information you need to stay active, eat well, maintain a healthy weight, and take care of your mental health.
  • Weight Management Center: Our Weight Management Center is dedicated to treating obesity in our community.

The Importance of the Right Medical Team for Overweight and Obesity Care

If you struggle with your weight, having a network of support can help you get started on the road toward a healthy lifestyle.

Many different specialists may be a part of your care team, from a nutritional counselor to an endocrinologist.

At Stormont Vail, we believe that every care team should include a primary care provider. They can give you information on healthy eating and exercise, monitor your weight and BMI, and look for signs of complications (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, etc.).

How Does Stormont Vail Include Family and Friends as Part of the Team?

We know that the people you love play a strong role in your health and wellness. Family and friends are welcome at many of our support groups and programs, and we are always willing to talk to your loved ones about the best ways to help you manage your weight.

A Closer Look: Life When You are Obese or Overweight

Family Diet and Exercise: Weight Loss for the Whole Family (Fido, Too!)

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Weight Management: There’s More Than Diet and Exercise

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Next Steps

  • Talking to your primary care provider is a great place to start for weight management. Call (785) 270-4440 to schedule an appointment at any of our clinics. (**To make an appointment at Cotton O’Neil Emporia, call (620) 343-2900. To make an appointment at Cotton O’Neil Manhattan, call (785) 537-2651.)
  • Check to see if you have insurance coverage for your appointment. Our Billing Department has provided this list of Kansas insurance provider phone numbers.
  • The Weight Management Center takes self-referrals. To get set up, call (785) 354-9591 and ask for the Weight Management Center.
  • Find a location.
  • When you start working with our physicians, don’t forget to sign up for MyChart. It’s the best way to communicate with your physician, view your medical history, and make appointments.