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Study Links Obesity to 40 Percent Higher Chance of Developing Atrial Fibrillation



According to the World Heart Federation, 21 percent of chronic heart disease cases are attributable to a BMI above 21. And with nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults overweight or obese, we are looking at the potential for heart disease rates to skyrocket in the coming years if we don’t collectively do something about the obesity epidemic.

Health care practitioners have known for some time about the connection between obesity and cardiovascular disease. However, a recent study has made the connection even clearer, showing that people with obesity had a 40 percent higher chance of developing atrial fibrillation, which can lead to stroke, heart failure and other complications.

Dr. Andrew Foy, assistant professor of medicine, Penn State College of Medicine, said the results suggest that for patients with both obesity and atrial fibrillation, losing weight has the potential to help treat and manage their atrial fibrillation.

“If you have both atrial fibrillation and obesity, treating obesity will go a long way in treating and managing your atrial fibrillation,” says Foy.

Obesity treatment is seen as one of the more effective ways (in terms of expenditures and health outcomes) to treat heart conditions. The American Heart Association recommends obese patients participate in a medically supervised weight loss program two or three times a month for at least six months. Medical weight loss is a treatment that can potentially be lifesaving. Consider these heart disease statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

• In 2008, over 616,000 people died of heart disease.
• In 2008, heart disease caused almost 25 percent of deaths—almost one in every four—in the United States.
• Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2008 were in men.
• Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. In 2008, 405,309 people died from coronary heart disease.
• Every year, about 785,000 Americans have a first coronary attack. Another 470,000 who have already had one or more coronary attacks have another attack.
• In 2010, coronary heart disease alone was projected to cost the United States $108.9 billion. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

(Click here to download our free white paper “Obesity Treatment for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease.”)

Being proactive about treating obesity can help patients avoid living with a debilitating chronic condition, avoid surgery, and increase their quality of life. All it takes is the willingness to start the conversation — and it doesn’t hurt to have a partner that can provide a turnkey weight loss program, evidence-based medical protocols, and scientifically-designed products. Check out the video below to hear from our customers about how easy, gratifying, and effective implementing a Robard weight loss program can be. Then, contact us to learn more and receive a free sample kit!


Sources: World Heart Federation, American Heart Association, Science Daily

Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Fat Acceptance: Can you be Content and Happy in your Own Skin?



I’ve struggled with weight all of my adult life. At times, I was sickly thin. Other times, I was bloated and uncomfortable in my own skin. Both experiences have given me a perspective on what it’s like to be overweight and underweight.

At my heaviest, I easily clear 260 pounds — I am close to that weight now. I am a 6’1” man, so my belly tends to enter a room before I do. At my thinnest, I was 160 pounds. At that weight I tended to look like I had a terminal disease. During my “lean years,” I could not lose enough weight. I felt horrible about myself when I was overweight, and felt embarrassed around other people. I still battle that internal voice.

I recently read a terrific article by Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., in which she asked, “How can a man or a woman be accepting of their body when it falls so far outside of society’s vision of the ideal form?” I suppose that many of us who wrestle with our weight face that same question. Cederquist, who is a board-certified bariatric physician, insists that, “it is those who accept their weight and deal with it powerfully who achieve the most profound and lasting weight loss results.” So what does she recommend? Change your internal conversation. Here’s her advice:

1. Begin with the belief that you are far more as an individual than just your weight.
“Shift your internal conversation from one of shame and self-loathing to one of power and possibility begins with the belief that you are far more than just your weight.”

2. Answer the following questions: Who you are presently? Who you will become when you have powerfully dealt with your weight?
“Think of more than just weight loss, but of how you live your life. Maybe today you are ‘limited by your mobility’ but are creating a future of ‘activity and mobility.’ With this example, what does it look like when you are able to do the things that your lack of mobility has prevented? What new possibilities exist for you, and how is your experience of life different?”

3. Think of the action steps you will take to make the future you have envisioned for yourself a reality.
“Outline each step that you will take in becoming a lighter, healthier you. An action step is not, a statement such as ‘lose weight.’ An action step is a specific action that you will take in order to reach your desired outcome.”

For me, the takeaway from Cederquist’s advice was that perspective is everything. It’s akin to the pseudoscientific law of attraction: What you focus on and think about internally is what you’re likely to invite in life. True or not, I subscribe to that theory. Perhaps the first step to lasting weight loss is solely mental. Try envisioning a healthier, happier you for a day or two and see if your perspective changes. Remember, you can always lose weight. But you should never lose yourself to guilt or shame.

About Robard: Robard, a privately-owned, family-oriented company headquartered in central New Jersey, has been a respected leader in the weight loss and management business for more than 40 years. In that time, we have helped tens of thousands of physicians, hospitals, and medical professionals treat countless patients annually, ranging from mildly overweight to severely obese with related chronic conditions. To learn more, visit us online.


Source: Huffington Post

Blog written by Kevin Boyce/Robard Corporation


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Helping Patients Make Healthier Choices



Physicians want real and long-lasting solutions for their patients’ obesity. In this quick-fix culture, it can be hard to sift through the bait and switch diets that promise quick results without lasting impact. Quick weight loss is a great benefit to patients, especially those with chronic obesity-related conditions, but it is only truly effective if the weight loss is maintained. A Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) combines behavior modification and nutrition education to provide rapid, medically-supervised weight loss with long-lasting results. It is the education and patient empowerment provided to patients on a VLCD that is paramount to long-term success.

Helping patients to make smarter food choices is critical. As part of our simple 4-phase approach, Robard’s medical protocols include Adapting and Sustaining phases. In Adapting, patients gradually reintroduce grocery foods into their diet after working to change their relationship with food in the meal replacement phase. Participants practice newly acquired eating, exercise and lifestyle behaviors as they lose their last few pounds so their new behaviors become permanent. In the Sustaining phase, patients are taught how to maintain their goal weight while staying on a healthy diet, with continuing support using relapse prevention techniques.

One patient who utilized this method is MH Taylor, was able to eliminate all of her blood pressure medication and successfully lost 85 pounds on the New Direction program. The behavioral changes she learned through the program have supported her in keeping the weight off for more than two years, and she’s still going strong!

“The most important thing is to find a diet that is medically supervised,” says Taylor. “I felt very confident with [my doctor]; she was doing an EKG every 50 pounds, she was checking my blood work once a month. I really liked the fact that the products were nutritionally balanced, so I am confident I’m getting the vitamins and minerals, and all the right elements that I need nutrition-wise. Now when I run into people they say, ‘Oh and you’ve kept the weight off!’ And they act surprised because a lot of people try fad diets or diets that aren’t medically supervised, and they end up losing a lot of weight, but then they stop doing the diet and gain it all back.”

Hear more about MH’s story in the video below!

If you are interested in learning more about how nutrition education and behavior modification can be used with a VLCD to help your patients lose the weight and keep it off, contact us! We have comprehensive patient education modules and libraries of resources to help your patients get the lasting results they are looking for, such as this easy and informative activity Shopping Cart Smarts, which teaches your patients how to make healthier food choices.


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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