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Study: Providers Cite Lack of Knowledge as a Major Barrier to Treating Patients with Obesity



By now, the need to prioritize obesity treatment in health care is widely accepted. Not a single state met the 2010 Healthy People goal of a 15% obesity rate. Instead, obesity rates have steadily climbed, with over one-third of American adults being obese, and with the United States ranking as one of the most obese countries in the world. And with obesity rates rising, so do the rates of comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

With obesity officially having been classified as a disease in 2013 by the American Medical Association, more providers understand the links between obesity and other chronic conditions, as well as the importance of obesity treatment. But a recent study from George Washington University shows that this transition to prioritizing obesity treatment is not an easy one because most providers lack knowledge and understanding of recommended obesity treatments, such as behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy.

In an accompanying editorial published in Obesity, Robert Kushner, MD, FTOS, examines the impact of this study. He concluded that, “The study suggests that more obesity education is needed among primary health care providers that focuses on knowledge along with enhanced competencies in patient care management, communication, and behavior change.”
 
Staying up-to-date with new information and best practices can be extremely difficult for a busy health care provider while the demands of the business and the patients remain high. But finding partners who can do some of the heavy lifting for you can support you in not only getting the necessary knowledge, but also streamlining your practices and provide you and your staff with the essential training and tools to implement this important service that will help your patients get healthier quicker, while saving your practice time and money.w

We encourage you to take advantage of free resources, like Robard’s three-part webcast series on How to Speak to Patients about Obesity, which can walk you through step-by-step on how to get this conversation started with patients.

If you understand how imperative it is to start addressing weight loss in your patients, but just aren’t sure how to get started, reach out to Robard today!

Source: Science Daily


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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A New Discovery Might Help Explain Winter Weight Gain



On February 2, 2018 — Groundhog Day — Pennsylvania's most famous woodchuck, Punxsutawney Phil, made his annual prediction. Unfortunately, in his infinite wisdom, he announced six more weeks of winter. And that means six more weeks of potential winter weight gain!

In our blog article 3 Tips to Avoid Winter Weight Gain, we explained some of the reasons why weight gain in the winter months is so common. But a new study from the University of Alberta pinpointed another cause, and it is connected to how our fat cells respond to Vitamin D, which is found plentifully in sunlight.

“When the sun's blue light wavelengths — the light we can see with our eye — penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell. In other words, our cells don't store as much fat,” said Peter Light, senior author of the study, who is a Professor of Pharmacology and the Director of UAlberta’s Alberta Diabetes Institute.

Conversely, during the winter months when the days are shorter and people spend less time outside, our exposure to the sun dwindles causing us to take in less vitamin D, which may promote fat storage and ultimately weight gain. This discovery opens up new avenues of future scientific exploration which could eventually lead to pharmacological or light-based treatments for obesity and other related health issues such as diabetes.

In the meantime, there are ways to combat winter weight gain — even with a few more weeks left of winter if good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil turns out to be right. Download our 10 Weight Loss Affirmation Cards for additional motivation to get through the final weeks of winter and stay on target with diets and exercise.

Plus, you can’t always rely on getting adequate vitamin D on sunlight alone, even during the summer. In many cases, food and supplements can support not only getting adequate nutrition, but with the right products and programs, can support healthy weight loss as well. Many of Robard’s scientifically-developed products are fortified with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D. Regulated by the FDA, manufactured with safety and quality certifications, and physician reviewed, our products have been known in the industry as the best in taste, nutrition, and effectiveness for more than 40 years. Learn more about our product offerings today!

We also provide really helpful health resources for physicians and patients. Want to learn more about Vitamins and Minerals? Download this free easy, but helpful fact sheet — just one of our many Patient Education Materials available for free to our customers.


Source: ScienceDaily


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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How I Treat Obese Patients in a Federally Qualified Health Care Clinic




Two of the most exciting parts being a physician working in a federally qualified health care clinic are providing medical care that I believe makes a difference and helps to put the patient in charge of their own health care, and helping my patients gain medical literacy. This includes discussing their weight.

Being overweight or obese is a gateway to an extensive variety of disease states across a multiplicity of organ systems. Obesity is a chronic, relapsing, multi-factorial, neurobehavioral disease, wherein an increase in body fat promotes adipose tissue dysfunction and abnormal fat mass physical forces, resulting in adverse metabolic, biomechanical, and psychosocial health consequences.
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To both prevent and treat this disease, the field of obesity medicine is an exciting and growing field that is marrying new and evolving sciences, cognitive behavioral therapies, and mind-body medicine modalities.

I have made it a personal policy to discuss weight with 100 percent of my patients. In my primary care setting, where we have limited time per patient visit and I am seeing patients with multiple and chronic illnesses, it is really a matter of time and practicality. With the few minutes I have with each patient, what is the one thing that I can do or say that will have the biggest impact on my patients’ reduction of morbidity and mortality?

Having a conversation about weight with the patient saves me time and involves the patient in taking charge of their health. Talking to a patient about their weight and their BMI are crucial components in helping them to “buy in” and become a key player on their own healthcare team.

For example, here’s a sample of patient BMI ranges that I observed over a two-day period: I saw 31 patients with BMIs ranging from a high of 67.5 to a low of 15.1 with ages ranging from 18 to 66. 21/31 had BMIs of 26 (approximately 66 percent) or greater. Most of these patients were insured through the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid or Medicare.

My typical office visit goes something like this: My Medical Assistant brings the patient back into the exam room where vital signs are taken. Height and weight are entered into the electronic medical record at each visit and the BMI is automatically calculated. The patients see their vitals signs displayed before their eyes. When I enter the room, I briefly explain to the patient what they are seeing on the screen. For many patients this is a learning opportunity as I explain BMI and what the ranges mean. The majority of patients are curious. They want to know where they fall, how close they are to normal, etc. I then take a few minutes to explain that losing as little as 5-10 percent of their baseline weight can lead to exponential improvements in their health and quality of life. This is especially motivating for my patients who are:

1) Suffering from multiple comorbidities such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and joint pain;
2) Tired of taking multiple medications and or being insulin dependent;
3) Tired of looking older than their chronological age;
4) Tired of being depressed;
5) Feeling like they are a victim and want to have a sense of something that they can do to contribute to their well-being.

I bring my patients back for more frequent office visits, generally every week to two weeks for an initial period of 12-16 weeks to provide the added support and accountability needed to support a patient on a weight loss journey. I have also familiarized myself with the current anti-obesity medications available and prescribe them for the appropriate patient, along with eating behavior modification and exercise prescriptions.

The other day a patient of mine returned for a weight check, delighted with another few pounds of weight loss. She exclaimed that her cardiologist stopped one of her anti-hypertensive medications, and she was smiling broadly — her dental hygienist told her earlier in the day that she looked like she was losing weight and looked good. She was near tears. She stated that her stress incontinence had improved so much that she was thinking about trying a beginner’s yoga class. This kind of success story has become an everyday part of my daily experience as a physician — and my own joy and satisfaction is priceless.



1."The Epidemiology and Determinants of Obesity in Developed and Developing Countries." http://econtent.hogrefe.com. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, 14 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.


Blog written by Carol Penn, D.O.



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