Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges we face today. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health, more than 64 percent of adults in Arizona are overweight, with 24 percent suffering from obesity. In Maricopa County alone, about 200,000 individuals suffer from Severe Obesity.
Last month, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced its decision to formally recognize obesity as a medical disease. In doing so, the AMA joins numerous other medical organizations and government agencies which have either officially recognized obesity as a disease or asserted such through their leadership representatives.
In mid-August, Abrazo Health will open its comprehensive bariatric surgery center at Paradise Valley Hospital in collaboration with Dr. Kurt W. Sprunger of the Phoenix Bariatric Center. Dr. Sprunger and his team are dedicated to the proper treatment of those suffering with obesity who have for too long endured criticism and discrimination and felt frustration and shame after the failure of inappropriate and ineffective treatments.
Dr. Sprunger sees the decision by the AMA as a significant milestone in helping to remove societal misconceptions about obesity and improve access to proper medical care for the millions of Americans struggling with this disease, including the 24 million Americans suffering from Severe Obesity and its serious related conditions, for whom bariatric surgery has proved to be the most effective and lasting treatment.
The services offered by Paradise Valley Hospital and Phoenix Bariatric Center will help Arizonans suffering from obesity to reverse the effects of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, infertility and a host of other medical conditions associated with obesity and reduce their risk of certain cancers and heart disease.