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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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New Year’s Planning & Evaluation for Health Care Providers: Setting Yourself Up for Success (Free S.W.O.T. Analysis Template)



The New Year is always a time filled with new opportunities for health care providers, specifically for those who offer medical weight management. Patients are getting messages and reminders from all directions about losing weight, and New Year’s resolutions gives dieters renewed hope and motivation to start off 2018 on the right foot. This is the moment for providers to capitalize on recruitment and re-engagement efforts — so don’t miss out! If you haven’t started your 2017 evaluation and 2018 planning, now is the time.

With 2018 already upon us, you may be in a time crunch if you don’t already have an evaluation plan in place. However, it’s not too late to at least get the wheels turning on how you can take a critical look at your progress from 2017. Use this information to start setting goals for the upcoming year. A quick and easy way to get this process started is with an analysis of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, or “S.W.O.T.”

A S.W.O.T. analysis can be helpful for a variety of different reasons, and you can easily use this tried and true tool throughout the year — not just at the end — to continually gauge your progress towards your practice goals. And, you don’t need to do a lot in order to facilitate this process with your staff and executive team. We’ve provided a helpful template that you can download and edit to guide you through a simple S.W.O.T. analysis.

Things to Keep in Mind:
1. Avoid complexity or too much detail; rather, keep it short and simple and don’t over-analyze. Bullet points are sufficient. Long, overly detailed paragraphs can distract from the main focus.
2. Be realistic: Look at your current situation objectively and see it for what it is.
3. Be specific: Talk through what the core message or issues are and articulate those ideas as detailed as possible. (While still being concise!)
4. Don’t forget about your goals: Apply your analysis to your 2017 goals and see how they measure up. Then create new goals for 2018. Remember the point of the analysis is to start to create a foundation for what you want to achieve moving forward.

A S.W.O.T. analysis can be done with your team over lunch or if your clinic is having a slow day. It can be a fun, yet productive end of the year activity for the entire team to collaborate on collective goals and improvements. So, don’t skip over this important exercise because it sounds too hard or time consuming. The feedback you get from this can be invaluable in setting yourself up for New Year’s success!

Looking for more advice on your weight loss business strategic planning? Call Robard today at (800) 222-9201 or visit us at www.Robard.com/BAP to receive more information about our complimentary customer services, including business growth consultations!


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Three Important Things to Remember When Dealing with Excess Skin After Weight Loss



In the beginning of their weight loss journeys, many dieters think they’ll lose 40 pounds and look like Cindy Crawford. They fantasize about hitting the beach in the smallest bikini they can find to show off their new body and celebrate all of their hard work. One thing that dieters are sometimes unprepared for, however, is that they still may need to deal with some body image issues after weight loss. One such issue is excess skin.

Dieters who lose significant weight often deal with loose, sagging skin — a remnant of what their bodies used to look like. This happens because while your fat cells shrink when the weight is lost, you still retain the same surface area. The new void under the larger surface area creates a layer of skin that may “hang” because there is less tissue underneath taking up space.

In addition to the detrimental mental and psychological effects this may cause — shame, embarrassment, depression, and anger — excess skin can also put some people at risk for rashes, infections and even immobility. For some patients, once the weight is lost, the journey is not over — but that does not mean the goal is unobtainable.

For many formerly obese and overweight people, learning to love one’s body remains a lifelong pursuit with many challenges along the way. If you are currently dealing with the challenge of excess skin, it is important to remember these three things:

1. YOU DID IT! You lost the weight. You accomplished your goal. Don’t forget that you achieved tremendous success and did something that so many people struggle to realize. In addition to being at a healthy weight, you have most likely also decreased your risk for comorbid conditions that threaten your ability to live a long, healthy life. Celebrate yourself and all that you’ve accomplished, and don’t let this challenge overshadow what you have overcome!

2. Do your research. Just like you didn’t have to settle for being overweight, you don’t have to settle for excess skin that causes you physical and emotional discomfort. There are many resources available to help you work to minimize or get rid of excess skin, from weight training programs to help you build muscle mass and tighten the skin, to more involved solutions like cosmetic surgery. Speak to your healthcare provider about what he/she might suggest.

3. Focus on maintenance. Losing weight was hard; but for many, keeping the weight off can be just as difficult. Many dieters find themselves on a weight loss roller coaster, constantly losing weight and gaining it back. Don’t let the excess skin sidetrack you from maintaining your well-deserved progress. If you need help, find a provider who has a maintenance program which can provide a structure to make it easier for you to keep the weight off, such as Robard’s S.T.A.R. Maintenance Plan.

For providers who want to help their formerly obese and overweight patients maintain weight loss, the S.T.A.R. Maintenance Plan is one of many complimentary programs and services available to Robard customers. Learn more about how to start a program at your center.


Source: U.S. News & World Report

Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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