Study Says Obesity Prevents more Organ Donations

June 5, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. eligibility (n.) – the state of being qualified for something
Example: The doctor will decide which patient has eligibility to donate their organs.

2. morbidly (adv.) – in an unhealthy or no longer normal manner
ExampleMorbidly obese people must lose weight in order to be healthy.

3. risk (n.) – the chance or possibility of getting a bad result
Example: There are many risks in getting a heart surgery.

4. potential (adj.) – to be a possible choice or candidate
Example: Out of all the potential candidates, only one will be elected as president.

5. waiting list (n.) – a list of people waiting to get reservations (for organ donations, appointments, etc.)
Example: Many people are signed up on the waiting list for the organ donation.

Read the text below.

Obesity is causing a shortage in organ donors, according to a study done by the Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine and Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York.

The study analyzed 104 people who were tested for their eligibility to donate kidneys at the Long Island transplant center between 2008 to 2011.

Results showed that 23% of these people were morbidly obese. Only 18% of the candidates had normal weight, while 82% fell under the category of overweight to obese.

People who are morbidly obese are advised not to donate because of high risks during and after operation. Obese patients are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes and hypertension in the future, both of which could put their remaining kidney on higher risk.
Feinstein researcher Dr. Mala Sachdeva says the shortage of organ donations due to obesity is a nationwide problem. She cites that of the 92% potential donors on the waiting list, one-fourth (1/4) of them do not qualify because of obesity.

However, nutritionists and researchers at Long Island have introduced a weight loss program for obese candidates. The program includes a monthly weight check-up, proper diet and regular exercise.

So far, only 3% of obese patients have successfully lost weight and donated kidneys. Thirty percent are still trying to lose weight while the remaining 26% have lost interest in donation.

Sachdeva says many people are saddened when they learn they cannot donate organs due to obesity. She believes educating the public more about obesity is an important issue for the country.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think some people have a hard time losing weight?
·         How can people lose weight healthily?

Discussion B

·         What is your opinion of people who want to donate to others? Do you think donating things (money, time and effort, etc.) is difficult? Why or why not?
How do you think volunteering and donation has helped people in your country?


June 5, 2012