Did you know the American Medical Association classifies obesity as a chronic disease? Chronic diseases are the leading cause of increased morbidity and mortality in the United States. In fact, the U.S. has one of the world’s largest populations of individuals who are considered overweight (body mass index over 25) and obese (BMI over 30) – about 80 percent of U.S. adults qualify. Obesity and its 50-plus associated illnesses are now the leading contributors to increased healthcare costs as well.
To combat this epidemic, the U.S. medical community has adopted a four-pronged treatment plan to help overweight and obese individuals better manage their weight and minimize the risk of associated illnesses.
Diet & Nutrition
Diet and nutrition play major roles in weight management. All calories and fats are not created equal, so it’s critical to consume the right type of food with appropriate nutritional value. To succeed, a diet must also be manageable, realistic, and fit your lifestyle, considering ethnic, racial, social, and financial factors. A medical weight loss clinician can help you design a diet that works – and works for you.
Physical Activity & Exercise
Losing weight is difficult through exercise alone. However, combined with diet and behavioral changes, physical activity certainly promotes weight loss. Ask a doctor about exercise guidelines – including type, time, and frequency – for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Any activity burns more calories than no activity, so start slow if you must. As a bonus, exercise regulates blood sugar, improves depression, and decreases stress and anxiety.
Obesity, like any other disease, should be treated by a board-certified specialist. An Obesity Medicine specialist may prescribe medication to regulate hormones in the brain, intestines, and fatty tissues. Consult one of these specialists to learn if this course of action is right for you.
Behavior & Habits
Habits begin in childhood and ultimately lead to who we become as adults. Pediatric obesity rates are increasing worldwide, and high cholesterol is now prevalent among young adults. Published guidelines for the prevention of obesity in children and young adults may be obtained through your doctor or online. Remember: Healthy behavior begins in childhood.
Casa Colina’s Medical Weight Loss & Wellness Program can help you lose weight and improve your health. For more information, please attend our seminar “Healthy Weight Loss and Wellness” on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare in Pomona. To register, call (866) 724-4132.
Usha Mantha, MD, FAAFP, MRCOG, is a Family Medicine and Medical Weight Loss Specialist and Director of Casa Colina Medical Weight Loss & Wellness Program