What is medical weight loss?
Dr. Ethan Lazarus and the staff at Clinical Nutrition Center in Greenwood Village, CO have been helping people in Denver with medically-supervised weight loss for decades. But what exactly is medical weight loss?
Obesity has been recognized as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association in 2013. That means it is now classified similar to high blood pressure or high cholesterol. When a person has obesity, it does not simply “go away” by going on a diet. Instead, we can manage it and prevent health problems.
Medical weight loss means that there is a medical doctor like Dr. Lazarus helping to manage the problem. If you have heart disease, you see a heart specialist. Cancer, an oncologist. Depression, a psychiatrist. Yet most individuals with obesity do not work with a doctor on this health problem. Most try commercialized programs, do-it-yourself diets and other approaches.
Because we know that obesity can shorten the lifespan and can lead to as many as 236 other medical problems (13 of which are types of cancer), it is itself a serious problem and one deserving of medical treatment. Dr. Lazarus and his team use the best scientific evidence available to help individualize treatment for each of their patients.
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA), a non-profit organization based here in Denver, CO and dedicated to advancing obesity treatment, recognizes four key pillars in obesity care: healthy nutrition, physical activity, behavior change and pharmacotherapy. An obesity specialist like Dr. Lazarus can help you pick the best tools to improve your health.
That’s why at Clinical Nutrition Center, patients are seen by a doctor (Ethan Lazarus, MD, or Heather Thomas, PA-c) and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Working side by side, we can then craft an approach where all 4 pillars of good obesity care are addressed. We can look at medications and other health problems causing weight gain, utilize FDA-approved weight loss medications, and structure individualized nutrition, physical activity and behavioral approaches.
So what does all of this mean? Medical weight loss is all about YOU. We help you develop a customized approach based on your health and your risk factors. Unfortunately, currently most primary care doctors are NOT trained in medical weight management. Most do not utilize weight loss medications. Most do not offer the tools needed to make lifestyle changes that result in weight loss. In fact, it is estimated that among all Americans struggling with obesity today, less than 2% have received treatment with weight loss medication.
Obesity is a disease and deserves to be treated seriously. That is what medical weight management is all about.