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Walk from Obesity Scheduled for Saturday October 14

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BROWNSVILLE — In an effort to raise awareness regarding obesity in our community, The Valley Baptist-Brownsville Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program is sponsoring a “Walk From Obesity” on Saturday, October 14 at Linear Park at Sixth Street in Brownsville from 8 – 10 a.m.

A special early registration price of $15 will be available through Thursday, September 14. Starting Friday, September 15, registration for the event is $25 for adults, and children under 12 years of age are admitted free with a registered adult. To register, visit www.walkfromobesity.com. Those interested in the event can also register on location the morning of the walk for $35. This is an event of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation, and proceeds will benefit the mission of this important organization.

Marcela Montemayor, Program Director of the Valley Baptist-Brownsville Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program, said the goal of the Walk From Obesity is to raise awareness regarding the health complications associated with obesity, in addition to enhancing the community’s knowledge regarding weight loss options.

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“The community has been incredibly supportive, and so have our patients who have already undergone procedures,” she said. “They are very excited about the positive changes that they’ve made in their lives and they are eager to share those changes with others who may not know how to take the first steps in living healthier and hopefully improving their quality of life.”

In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about other health issues potentially related to obesity, including hypertension, sleep apnea and diabetes.

“The purpose of the walk is to create awareness of the fact that obesity is now considered a disease,” Montemayor said. “It contributes heavily to metabolic syndrome, which can affect the entire body and can increase the risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.”

Montemayor said another objective of the event is to help calm the apprehension that can be associated with taking the initial steps on the path to leading a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, staff at the Valley Baptist-Brownsville Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program offer education to help patients cope with fears associated with losing weight.

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“Fear is usually a result of a lack of knowledge. What we try to do is educate our patients on what the procedures are about and exactly how the doctor changes their anatomy during the procedures and how these changes can benefit their lives. We explain exactly what lifestyle changes are required to help make this procedure successful, because we’re looking for long-term goals,” she said. “We want to make changes that last a lifetime. People need help analyzing their lifestyles and dietary habits so they can make beneficial changes to help them reach their goals.”

Treatments for obesity include dieting, exercise, medication, and behavior changes.  As far as bariatric surgery to lose weight, Dr. Carlos Barba, Medical Director of Valley Baptist-Brownsville Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program, said it is “only a tool, not a miracle or a cure for obesity.”

“Success for the surgery depends on how much commitment, knowledge and discipline the patient is willing to pursue,” Dr. Barba said.  “For those patients who are motivated, success can mean phenomenal results.”

For more information about surgical weight loss options, contact your physician or Marcela Montemayor, Program Director for the Valley Baptist-Brownsville Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program, at (956) 698-5220

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