(NaturalNews) Thanks to America's rapidly expanding waistlines, it seems the approximately 92,000 patients currently waiting for a kidney donor will have to wait even longer. According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, out of 104 people who visited the Long Island transplant center intending to donate a kidney, 23 percent were morbidly obese, with body mass indexes (BMI) of more than 35. Although there is no set rule, most centers exclude living donors with BMIs of 35 (or even 30 in some cases) because of poor outcomes in the past, risk of operation complications, and the potential development of obesity linked chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
Of the 104 people included in the study, only 18 percent were classified within the normal weight range. Sadly, this sample percentage is even lower than the overall average percentage of Americans in the normal weight range, a dismal 25 percent. In a tragic twist for transplant patients, obesity is increasingly becoming the new normal.
Typically, donors aren't simply turned away. Instead, they are given an opportunity to lose weight in order to become eligible to donate. Of the potential donors initially disqualified, only three (13%) were able to lose enough weight to qualify. Despite the center providing counselors to create diet and lifestyle modification plans and follow up monthly, a full third were unable to lose the necessary weight. The remaining potential donors either changed their minds or fell through for other reasons.
So, what is the proposed solution?
According to assistant professor of medicine Dr. Mala Sachdeva, "We need to target that 30 percent who are really motivated to lose weight. What can we do differently? We could put them in a more rigorous weight loss program, have closer follow-up, offer motivational support groups or even in some participants - if their BMI permits - consider bariatric surgery."
It's truly a sad state of affairs when bariatric surgery becomes a viable option, mentioned over the most obvious and effective solution, changing the food that is making Americans obese in the first place. Of course, many factors contribute to obesity, but most ignore the elephant in the room. With the rise in obesity levels virtually coinciding with the rise in highly-processed GMO foods, the link between GMOs and America's obesity epidemic is getting more and more difficult to deny.
We are what we eat. Until Americans reject genetically modified foods en masse and start taking responsibility for their health and the content and makeup of the foods they consume, the obesity epidemic will continue to climb and, tragically, more and more people in need of life-saving transplants will suffer as a result. And so the exorbitant price-tag of obesity, already well- documented recently on this site and others, continues to mount, with no signs of letting up anytime soon. When will America wake up?
About the author: Scott is a blogger, writer, and researcher whose primary focus is how to raise healthy kids despite a system and status quo that makes it as difficult as possible. He and his wife, Kim, live in the hills of east Tennessee with their four small children. He holds an MBA from East Tennessee State University. Scott and Kim blog about parenting, marriage, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and homesteading at www.amorefieldlife.com. Connect with them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amorefieldlife.
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