Michel Murr, MD, FFACS, medical director is a bariatric surgeon at the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, AdventHealth.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in Florida, claiming 30,000 lives yearly.

Heart disease is not an isolated event. It is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, sleep apnea and fatty liver, and when combined, it is often referred to as metabolic syndrome. The root cause for all these conditions is obesity.

Metabolic syndrome often leads to premature death, untold health complications and poor quality of life. The good news is that it can be prevented through weight loss.

The key to losing weight and keeping it off is through the adoption and maintenance of the following five habits: eat breakfast every day, sleep eight hours nightly, walk 20 minutes daily, track your food intake and avoid processed food at least five days a week.

If your body mass index (BMI) is higher than 40, dieting and exercise are less effective because mechanisms that regulate your body weight have been overcome during years of caloric excess. There is relief, though; bariatric-metabolic surgery leads to sustainable weight loss, reversal of metabolic syndrome and an improved quality of life.

At AdventHealth Tampa, these operations have been perfected and made its services easily accessible and obesity-friendly. A team of experts have been assembled under one roof; no longer do you have to travel to different offices and specialists and repeatedly fill out the same long intake with the added struggle of aligning your medical records.

The office is built for your comfort, from large exam rooms, properly sized furniture and staff comfortable in discussing your weight. It has refocused its entire process to put your interests first by removing all the obstacles of fragmented care that usually stand in your way.

Yet there is more work to do in raising awareness of the consequences of obesity.

According to Michel Murr, MD, FACS, medical director and bariatric surgeon at the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, AdventHealth Tampa, said, “Few people seek serious medical weight loss, and fewer than one in every 1,000 obese adults whose BMI is greater than 40 gets bariatric-metabolic surgery. Delaying surgery would only delay the inevitable, allowing for the progressive worsening of obesity and its effects on your body’s systems.”

Act now—obesity is a serious health issue and requires serious treatment.

For more information, call 971-2470 or visit TampaBMI.com.