Why You Should Consider Medical Weight Loss
By Maria Jauhar, M.D.
According to recent weight loss data, 73 percent of Americans are considered overweight or obese. This is an alarming percentage, especially when considering that being overweight can increase your chance of suffering from:
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver and gallbladder disease
- Cancer (endometrial, breast, and colon)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Gynecological problems such as infertility
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
Because of the health issues that come with being overweight, having your medical weight loss program managed and monitored by a physician can help you successfully navigate important lifestyle changes, such as changes to diet, exercise regimens, smoking cessation, blood pressure control, and more.
Understanding Your Weight Loss Needs
It is also important to identify and understand any underlying health factors that may need to be taken into account during your weight loss efforts. For this reason, your physician should conduct a thorough evaluation that includes a comprehensive blood panel, EKG, weight and body fat analysis, waist circumference, and a detailed review of your medical and health history. This evaluation is a key component of any weight loss program as it will not only provide details on your current health, but also provide a benchmark from which you can measure improvement and success.
If you are suffering from one or more of the health problems listed above, then there is a good chance that you may be on one or several medications. Your current medications need to be factored into your weight loss program to ensure your overall health and well being is appropriately managed; regular monitoring by a physician can help track changes in your overall health and adjust your medications appropriately.
Finally, studies have shown that weight loss patients who are monitored by a physician show increased success, as the doctor-patient relationship encourages behavior change and reinforces positive changes, including improved dietary practices, increased activity, and weight loss maintenance. Most important, the doctor-patient relationship encourages a higher level of patient accountability, which goes a long way in maintaining your weight loss long after you have hit your goal.
Medical Weight Loss Resources
- American Dietetic Association
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
- The Obesity Society
8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 1320
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Toll-free: 800.986.2373 (800.98.OBESE)
- American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
100 SW 75th Street, Suite 201
Gainesville, FL 32607
- Food and Nutrition Information Center
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Avenue, Room 108
Beltsville, MD 20705
National Agricultural Library
Food and Nutrition Information Center
10301 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
- Weight-Control Information Network
1 Win Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3665