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HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital recognizes Obesity Care Week & World Obesity Day

HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital recognizes Obesity Care Week & World Obesity Day
We hope to raise awareness and not get blindsided by obesity

TAMPA, Fla. (February 27, 2023) — HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital is raising public awareness and understanding about the disease of obesity.  Obesity is a multifactorial treatable disease that continues to be a national and worldwide health epidemic.  It is estimated that nearly 93 million Americans are affected by obesity and the number is projected to climb to 120 million Americans within the next 5 years.  It is associated with having an excess amount of body fat that increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other serious medical conditions.       
As HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital continues to celebrate National Heart Month, it will highlight Obesity Care Week and World Obesity Day on March 4.   The American Heart Association’s Heart Month campaign features an inspirational story of Quinton Aaron, lead actor in the 2009 blockbuster movie The Blind Side, who developed heart disease and diabetes after many years of struggle with obesity.  “It is our goal, as a hospital, to increase knowledge and understanding about what obesity is and what it is not,” said Sonia Wellman, Chief Executive Officer.  “The hospital will highlight valuable science-based resources on weight, health and wellness along with promoting the importance of meaningful relationship building between a patient and their healthcare provider.  The goal is to help others not be blindsided by this disease.”
Despite the extensive medical research, stigma and misperceptions continue to negatively shape the way people with obesity are treated.  The aim is to encourage open, empathetic and evidence-based discussions. “By elevating the conversation of weight and its effect on health, we can positively impact the prevention and treatment of obesity,” explained Richard DiCicco, bariatric medical director and board-certified bariatric surgeon.  “Individuals who struggle with obesity should be comfortable speaking with their healthcare provider about daily habits, medical and family history to determine the best treatment plan to meet their individual needs.” 
During Obesity Care Week, HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital plans to bring together patients, caregivers and medical professionals for a week of awareness and education which includes healthy food, nutrition tips and testimonials from public figures who struggle with obesity.  Experts from the hospital’s weight loss surgery program will be on hand to provide education and information about weight loss prevention and treatment options for those suffering from this disease. 

HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital has treated over 6,000 patients through their weight loss surgery program.  “We take pride in being an Accredited Comprehensive Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery for over 10 years along with being ranked among the top 5 percent in the nation for Weight Loss surgery by Healthgrades for the last 3 years”, shares Dr. Amit Taggar, bariatric surgeon. Additionally, the hospital’s weight loss surgery program is a designated Center of Excellence with most major healthcare insurance plans.

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