Weight-Related Medical Tests: When and Why Men Should Get Them
Obesity is a growing health concern worldwide. In fact, the rate of obesity has nearly tripled worldwide since 1975. In a study on obesity and abdominal obesity in the US, researchers found that people overweight or obese account for 32.69% and 35.48% of the US population respectively. While the study does note that abdominal obesity was more prevalent among women than men, the prevalence of overweight men saw a significant increase during the study. The researchers concluded that abdominal obesity remains a growing health problem in the US, especially among men.
Undeniably, obesity can lead to other harmful health conditions or diseases if undetected or untreated for long periods of time. Experts recommend routinely getting checked or screened for obesity to prevent serious conditions and side effects. In this post, we’ll look more closely at what weight-related medical tests are and why men should get them:
What is a Weight-Related Medical Test?
Despite the high rates of obesity and being overweight in the country, some people may be unaware of their weight-related condition. This may be because they were never checked or screened for obesity, or they may not have access to the information and care needed to be diagnosed and offered treatment. As such, weight-related medical tests are ways for doctors or general practitioners to screen your body for potential conditions or illnesses related to your weight.
Today, some of the common screening types include using the body mass index (BMI) as an indicator for intervention. BMI is calculated from a person’s weight and height and is used as a screening tool to potentially identify weight problems in adults — however, BMI is not a diagnostic tool.
Aside from one’s BMI, doctors may also use the measurement of a patient’s waist circumference as an alternative. High waist circumference is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in patients.
More studies and research have been conducted recently to find effective screening methods for obesity in patients. In a study on the clinical usefulness of the brief screening tool Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS), researchers found that the EOSS-2 Risk Tool helped address and discuss obesity between patients and general practitioners without stigma and judgment. This is important as it provides more initiative for patients to seek care and treatment for potential weight and health concerns.
Why should men get these tests?
Other than being able to get treatment or appropriate care for weight-related health issues, men can benefit from weight-related medical tests for other reasons, such as:
Picking up early warning signs of chronic illnesses
Some of the most common chronic conditions in men range from heart disease to diabetes to stroke. Unfortunately, many of these illnesses often go undetected before it’s too late. Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and poor physical fitness are scientifically linked to the development of common chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Aside from unhealthy lifestyle choices, chronic diseases can also develop in men at later stages of life. This is why getting screened and checked as early as possible can help detect and identify health concerns before they become serious diseases.
Saving on healthcare costs in the long term
Finally, regarding healthcare costs, detecting serious health and weight-related issues as early as possible means that patients can also save more in future healthcare costs. In a previous post on surprise medical bills, we discussed the possibility of “surprise billing” as a result of emergencies or having to visit out-of-network health providers. Healthcare costs can be expensive, especially when not planned. Individuals living with chronic illnesses are found to spend eight times higher healthcare costs than the average healthy person. Thus, detecting serious health conditions through weight-related medical tests can help men avoid life-threatening emergencies and their associated financial costs. While there are rights and protections against surprise billing, awareness of your health condition can also help you adjust your health insurance and medical plans in the long run.
Article written by Rita Janelle
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