Taipei, May 4 (CNA) The president of Chiayi Christian Hospital in southern Taiwan said Friday the medical facility has helped 100 morbidly obese people lose over 4,000 kilograms in two years by conducting weight-loss surgery.
Besides offering weight-loss surgery to those in need, the hospital will set up a special weight control center to safeguard the health of overweight people as part of efforts to promote Chiayi City as a health center, said Chen Cheng-ren, president of the hospital, at a press conference.
The adult obesity rate in Chiayi was 45 percent in 2011, which was higher than the national average of 44 percent, Chen said, adding that Taitung, Pingtung and Chiayi counties were the three "fattest counties" in Taiwan.
The hospital is one of the few institutions in Taiwan that conducts such a large number of weight-loss operations, said Sung Tien-chou, director of the hospital's department of general surgery, who added that only people with diabetes and a body mass index over 32 were eligible for such radical surgery.
A number of former patients at the hospital also spoke at the news conference, thanking the facility for helping them rebuild their self-confidence.
Lin Chiu-hsiang, 69, who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, weighed 125 kilograms before surgery. She said the operation helped her lose 56 kilograms.
In addition, three members of a single family talked of the new lives they were leading after they shed a total of 120 kilograms.
(By Chiang Chun-liang and Maia Huang)