By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We know Americans are getting heavier, but many of us would still rather not discuss bariatric surgery to tackle the problem.

Obesity is responsible for millions of American deaths each year, according to Dr. Ramsey Dallal, chief of bariatric surgery at Einstein Health Care Network.

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A new study shows that nearly all of us support friends who have the procedure, but would be ashamed to admit we had the surgery.

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“We should take this information and be understanding and be supportive of our friends and family and co-workers who suffer with the disease of obesity,” he said. “Physicians should take this information and realize that patient’s may not express the problem to them, they may be ashamed.”

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He adds, that same person would not be ashamed to need hip surgery or a lung operation.