It's no secret the obesity rates are high in the country.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the nation gets an "F" as in fat, for what they call an obesity epidemic, where over 35 percent of adults and about 17 percent of children age 2 to 19 are obese.
Here in Louisiana those numbers have risen to about 30 percent.
Dr. Dean Griffin of Surgery Professor at LSU Health Shreveport says as those numbers rise, so will cost for care.
"The cost though overall goes up dramatically because these patients tend to stay in the hospital longer and because they have more complications they're additional costs in terms of diagnosis and treatment."
Dr. Griffin says the ever-increasing size of his patients is making it harder for him to do his job.
"Surgery is much more difficult in patients who are over weight, that makes it very difficult for example to gain exposure."
He says to accommodate the girthier patients, the hospital has made some modifications to its medical equipment and instruments.
One scale can support a person weighing 8 hundred pounds and an operating table that surgeons use to save the lives of patients who can weigh up to a thousand pounds.
"We have many more wide wheelchairs, wider doors for access," says Denita Jones, Assistant Manager of Hospice Care of Shreveport-Bossier.
Jones says they literally feel the weight of many of their patients.
"When we have a patient that is obese we usually take more than one person take care of them."
She says this lift comes in handy with her her overweight patients.
"For some patients they're not able to use the lift because it has a weight capacity, and sometimes it's not safe for the patient to use the lift."
But health care workers aren't the only ones who need a helping hand.
Shreveport's former Fire Chief Brian Crawford says in the battle of the bulge, the fire department also had to make some changes for first responders.
"There are certain lifts, carry's techniques, equipment, different size stretchers that are compatible with different size people."
Dr. Dean says if the nation wants lower health care costs they can start by lowering their weight.
"Improve the results of the healthcare they receive by simply bringing to the table a healthier being because they are not overweight."