Researchers at the OSU Wexner Medical Center along with their colleagues at 45 worldwide scientific and medical institutions are trying to change guidelines so that more people with chronic diseases linked to obesity can qualify for bariatric weight loss surgery.
Researchers said that patients with obesity who are interested in the surgery have to qualify for it based on arbitrary and outdated (by three decades) standards based on their BMI.
The old standards say that only patients with a BMI of 40 or higher or 35 if they also have a related dangerous disease such hypertension, type-2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease should qualify for the surgery.
Meanwhile, many studies have demonstrated the benefits of bariatric surgery for patients with lower BMIs. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery believe in this enough that they have drafted new guidelines for patients with lower BMIs, but who have diabetes.
The last step is for referring physicians and insurance companies to widely adopt the new standards.