Surgery is a valuable weight loss option for people with obesity, says Dr. Howard Simon, the chief of bariatric surgery at Upstate University Hospital. He describes obesity as a complicated disease for which a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve operation may offer treatment.

Such surgeries are usually done in a minimally invasive way, and are part of a comprehensive approach to weight loss that involves counselors, nutritionists and others to help the patient achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Multiple solutions needed to end obesity epidemic

Apr 8, 2015
greggavedon.com / via Flickr


Close to 60 percent of New Yorkers are overweight or obese. This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he would take steps to fight the obesity epidemic in the state.

New York state ranks second nationwide for medical expenditures related to obesity issues. One researcher says solutions to the problem should include both public health efforts and individualized treatment.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state's acting health commissioner is touring the state this week, advising New Yorkers to get off the couch and get some exercise.

Acting Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says the tour is grounded in these statistics from the New York State Department of Health: Just over a quarter of New Yorkers are obese and another 36 percent are overweight. The numbers aren't much better for children. Thirty-two percent of public school students between the ages of six and 12 across the state are either overweigh or obese.

How do we break our cultural obsession with weight? Author Harriet Brown says we must:

  1. Stop fat talking about ourselves,
  2. realize that being thin does not mean one is healthy, just as being fat does not mean one is unhealthy, and
  3. take our emphasis off of people's appearances.

Brown, a Syracuse University professor, speaks about what led her to write the book, "Body of Truth -- How Science, History and Culture Drive our Obsession with Weight and What We Can Do About It."

Challenging America's food culture

Nov 23, 2014
Jon Mould / Flickr

When you were a child, you may have been told by your parents to finish everything on your plate.  You may also have been forced to eat vegetables as punishment or you were given candy as a reward for good behavior.  While such approaches to eating can be helpful in some circumstances, they are usually unhealthy and can contribute to obesity. 

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Cynthia Morrow talks about the unhealthy eating habits that are ingrained in American culture.  Morrow is a public health physician and teaches public health and preventive medicine at Upstate Medical University.

Leah Landry / WRVO

When New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed banning large sugary drinks, there was a lot of public backlash. But this country actually has quite a history of government intervening in the name of public health. Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, hosts of WRVO's weekly health show "Take Care," spoke with nutrition policy expert Tracy Fox who argues this kind of intervention is sometimes warranted - and often works.