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Image: Jaheidi Fonseca Combo 2 New York resident Jaheidi Fonseca, 31, was having trouble losing weight after having three children. Two-years ago Fonseca tipped the scale at 219 pounds, trying everything from diet pills to protein shakes to shed the weight — without success. “It was incremental, after I had my first child I gained weight that never came off, having two other children I just kept gaining and harder for me to lose,” are weight loss programs tax deductible Fonseca, a medical technician, told NBC News. “I wasn't on the right track to start losing weight." “No scars, no cuts. You are asleep, like going to the dentist to pull your teeth out.” After seeing her fellow colleagues lose weight, Fonseca met with a gastroenterologist who recommended the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), also called the accordion procedure. Obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) over 30, affects 78.6 million Americans -- more than one-third of U.S. adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. This procedure is meant for people with type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, unhealthy cholesterol and a BMI of less than 40. Related: Surgery-Free Weight Loss Procedure Shows Promise The study's early results show that the accordion procedure is safe, effective and less expensive than surgery for people who have been unable to lose weight through lifestyle changes, said Dr. Stacy Brethauer, president of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, who was not involved in the study. "While it may not be as effective as surgery, it has fewer complications and may be the ideal treatment for patients with less severe obesity," said Brethauer. "Like any weight loss treatment, endoscopic procedures should be done as part of a multidisciplinary weight management program that can help each patient determine the best option for them." Dr. Scott Kahan, a weight loss expert at the Obesity Society and George Washington University Medical Center, sees promise in the procedure since it can be offered to a wider group of people. “This procedure includes patients with BMI over 30, whereas traditional bariatric surgery is usually only offered to people with a BMI of at least 35,” Kahan, who was also not involved in the study, told NBC News.

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