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Posted March 16, 2020 by Kenneth W Wells, MD
The desire to lose weight and the process chosen to go about it is a deeply personal journey. With many new options on the market, it can be tough to understand the best approach to reaching long-term weight loss.
Obesity is now ranked as the second-highest cause of preventable deaths in the United States. The rate at which obesity has worsened over the past 20 years is alarming, and there is now a growing amount of national attention focused on the problem. It is also important to note that Obesity has been proven to increase the risk for cancer including Colon and Breast cancers. Weight loss is an important cancer risk reduction effort for many patients at higher risk for cancer and a component of cancer survivorship plans as well.
There are numerous “quick-fixes” on the market that claim to help people reach long-term weight loss, and while it is appealing to think of taking a pill to melt the pounds away the reality is that it takes hard work and time to undo the eating behaviors and choices that lead to obesity.
At Summa Health, we have many options available to help you begin your weight loss journey no matter how many pounds you are trying to shed, including:
Medical Nutrition Therapy:
Sometimes patients just need the help of a dietitian. A registered dietitian can approach obesity through either medical nutrition therapy or nutrition education.
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) involves registered dietitians treating medical conditions such as obesity through the use of nutrition assessment and intervention techniques. This also includes patient education. The dietitian uses the patient’s medical history, a physical examination and a dietary history to develop an appropriate plan. The plan is reviewed with the patient, and the patient is monitored at regular intervals to determine progress made and the need for modifications to the plan.
Patients that do not have a condition which qualifies them to use their MNT insurance benefit, or who do not have insurance, can still see a registered dietitian for a Nutrition Education appointment for a low out-of-pocket fee. Nutrition Education is a less intensive approach to treating obesity but is also provided by a registered dietitian. The focus is on educating the patient regarding topics such as meal planning, nutrient content, portion sizes and label reading. A physician referral is not needed for nutrition education.
Behavioral Health Services:
Changing your behavior when it comes to eating and exercise is the key to success in any weight loss plan. The degree to which you change your behavior is directly related to the amount of weight loss you can expect to achieve. Our behavioral health specialists will help identify any underlying disordered eating behaviors that could be at the root of previous weight gain and failed efforts at weight loss. They will work with you to conquer those behaviors, and help you to develop new, constructive eating behaviors. These services are excellent options for those who struggle with eating in response to emotions or stress, or who struggle with depression and anxiety. With our behavioral health services, you will receive specialized individual counseling with a psychologist who specializes in weight management concepts.
Nonsurgical Weight Management Program:
The focus of nonsurgical weight management is achievement of long-term weight loss through modification of food choices, intensive management of eating behaviors, exercise and lifelong follow-up to ensure maintenance of weight loss. Patients can customize a program that works best for them, with individual physician and behavioral health specialist appointments available. We can assist with meal planning and can help manage weight in conjunction with complicated medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or pregnancy.
Surgical Weight Loss:
When a person’s BMI reaches the point of severe obesity, surgical weight loss becomes an option. There are several surgical options available to Summa Health patients including:
Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: a minimally invasive and the most successful weight loss procedure, this surgery involves creating a small stomach “pouch” with staples separating it from the rest of the stomach. The result is that you eat less food and absorb only part of the food you eat. The procedure also creates a feeling of fullness sooner after eating.
Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: A minimally invasive procedure that involves separating the stomach into two parts to encourage patients to eat less while still feeling full. Digestion occurs through the normal process, so nutrients and vitamins can be fully absorbed into the body.
Laparoscopic Revisional Surgery: For patients who already underwent a primary weight loss procedure, this minimally invasive procedure is designed to fix complications from the initial surgery.
Whether you have a few pounds to lose or a significant amount of weight to shed, we have options that will help you reach your goals. The reasons for obesity are many and varied and require a personalized solution and life-long support. We work with each individual to achieve the best outcome. Talk to your primary care provide about what the best weight loss option is for your needs so you can start your journey toward a significant weight loss.