Decades of health progress threatened by Obesity Epidemic?

49277365 - shorten your life medical and health care problem concept as a life line or heart monitor ekg or ecg chart being removed by a pencil eraser as a healthcare risk metaphor for living an unhealthy lifestyle.

Life span has increased in Canada over the past number of decades through new health treatments but those gains are now under threat from the rising incidence of obesity in the Canadian population.

As of June 2015, the proportion of obese Canadians sat at 20.2% up from just over 15% in 2003, with this figure expected to continue rising. A 2010 report estimated that direct costs of overweight and obese Canadians represented $6 billion or 4.1 % of Canada’s total health care budget. However, this estimate only accounts for health care costs related to obesity, and does not account for productivity loss, reductions in tax revenues or psycho-social costs. 

One study reports that only 21% of overweight individuals reported seeking help from their physician. This suggests that the majority of overweight or obese people try to deal with their weight issues on their own. Undoubtedly, the plethora of commercial programs that are available have attracted them to this choice. Unfortunately the overwhelming majority of people are not successful with diet and exercise programs alone.

For the most part, family doctors are responsible for the screening, diagnosis and management of chronic diseases with coordinated care through referrals. This team approach should also be the case when dealing with overweight or obese patients. However, the lack of effective pharmaceutical treatment and the long wait lists for bariatric surgery in the public health system in Canada have made this model much less effective for the majority of obese patients. SmartShape offers a number of surgical options for weight loss as a timely and safe alternative.

Apart from the mental and physical stress of extra weight, many chronic health issues are linked to obesity such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea and a number of cancers. The family physician understands that the severity of these chronic health problems can be reduced and even resolved by significant and sustained weight loss.

Large amounts of money have been raised and spent in research areas for heart disease, stroke and various cancers. Unfortunately lack of success in tackling the obesity crisis may eradicate many of the gains that have been made in those areas.

SmartShape offers a team management approach to weight loss. In conjunction with a person’s physician, many chronic diseases that can result from being overweight will be controlled or in many cases cured, which will lead to longer and healthier lives for our patients.


For more information on how the SmartShape care team can help you meet your weight loss goals, visit