LEWISTON, Maine — Central Maine Bariatric Surgery reached a milestone July 2 when it performed its 1,000th bariatric surgery, according to Dr. Jamie Loggins, medical director of CMBS, a part of Central Maine Medical Center.

In announcing the milestone, Loggins said the 1,000 cases add up to approximately 90,000 to 100,000 pounds of weight loss.

Obesity brings heightened risks of diabetes and cancer. The 1,000 patients will have decreased their risk of dying from a cancer by 60 percent, and most have had, or will have, an elimination or improvement in their Type II diabetes. Other problems reduced or eliminated by weight loss include high blood pressure, sleep apnea, acid reflux, incontinence, high cholesterol and fatty liver disease.

There are health risks and complications that can happen from the surgery. None of the 1,000 patients have died from the surgery, Loggins reported, adding there have been “very few significant complications.”

Obesity in this country has reached epidemic proportions for many reasons, Loggins said.

Part of it is the fact that evolution has selected humans with efficient metabolisms; people able to get the most out of sparse food were the most likely to survive. That’s left people with remarkably efficient metabolisms, not good for losing weight.

However, people no longer have to be physically active to hunt or grow food. Dense calories are all around us, making it easy for people to eat “the energy equivalent of several days’ worth of calories in a matter of minutes.” Finally, humans have an instinctual drive to eat, Loggins said.