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Weight Loss Programs Help Fight Cardiovascular Disease



One of the biggest benefits, if not the biggest, of losing weight is minimizing or completely remedying other ailments and comorbidities that come with being overweight. Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, hypertension, sleep apnea and more have been associated with being overweight. Another one is cardiovascular disease, which consists of heart conditions that may include the vessels, structural problems, blood clots, and more. A recent study showed how effective losing weight can be in regards to treating cardiovascular diseases, and the results may surprise you.

One hundred and twenty-nine patients entered into the WAIT (Weight Achievements and Intensive Management) program that lasted 12 weeks and yielded great results: the participants enjoyed an average weight loss of 9.7 percent (24 pounds) and were able to maintain 6.4 percent of that loss (16 pounds) for five years, on average.

Participants of the study were split into two groups. One group were those that achieved seven percent or more of their weight loss, while the second group achieved less than seven percent of their weight loss after a year. The study showed that the group that lost seven percent or more of their initial weight loss (the first group) experienced significant improvements in their comorbidities, which included their A1C levels, their LDL and HDL levels, and improved blood pressure.

“This weight loss was very impressive, since we know from previous research that if this population can maintain a seven percent weight loss, they show a marked improvement in insulin sensitivity and many other cardiovascular risk factors,” says Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD, and Medical Director of Joslin Diabetes Center’s obesity clinical program.

Similar studies have shown how effective a proper weight management program can be. The right program can give someone an opportunity to lose weight, maintain the loss, and mitigate or even eliminate the comorbidities that come with it. Sounds like a win-win for the patient and the provider!

Learn more about offering a weight management program, or if you are a dieter needing weight loss assistance, click here.


Source: Joslin Diabetes Center


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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Sitting on an Empty Wallet: The Cost of Physical Inactivity



A lot of people that are physically inactive throughout the day aren’t so by choice. More and more jobs are in an office setting. These environments are sedentary by nature, and don’t tend to encourage physical activity. While some try to remedy their lack of movement during the day by doing some basic things at their desks, others will do their best to get some exercise in after the workday is over. Some, if they’re smart, try to do both. Nonetheless, our inactivity is costing us more than our just our health. A lot more.

A study conducted by the University of Sydney showed that physical inactivity had a world cost of $67.6 billion in 2013. That’s billion with a “B.” Researchers came up with that hefty total by observing healthcare cost, productivity losses, and disability-adjusted life years for five diseases that are generally associated with physical inactivity and obesity: coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer.

There are a lot of layers to this study and its results, but it starts with the issue of physical inactivity. And this is not just a domestic problem; it’s a global issue. The study included 142 countries which contains 93.2 percent of the world’s population, making this a rather holistic perspective of how much our lack of inactivity is costing us. That isn’t lost on the researchers.

“Physical inactivity is recognized as a global pandemic and not only leads to diseases and early deaths, but imposes a major burden to the economy”, says Dr. Melody Ding, lead author of the study and Senior Research Fellow from the University School of Public Health.  The economic burden is a real one. Out of the $805 million Australia paid for inactivity, $91 million was from the private sector.

And while some people pay the price with their wallet, others pay with their health.

Although this is an expensive problem, there seems to be a rather easy solution: We need to be more physically active — especially those at a younger age. Adolescents are practically given every reason to not be active; 3-D televisions, social media, and iPads can make them feel as though they are living a full life while sitting on the couch.

As for adults, there are many short-cuts we can employ when it comes to combatting a sedentary lifestyle. Finding at least some time in the day to be physically active, even at your desk, is a healthier option than succumbing to the outcomes that studies like this suggest. Living a more active lifestyle is always better — physically, mentally and fiscally.

Source: University of Sydney


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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Healthcare Providers Want to Learn More about Diet, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention



As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, it is imperative that healthcare providers and their patients are well versed in methods to combat the disease as well as associated comorbidities. And now, a recent survey shows the willingness of healthcare providers to increase their knowledge on this subject. 

A 28-question survey, created by a team from the NYU Langone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, was administered to more than 200 cardiologists and internal medicine physicians and trainees. The survey was created to find gaps in nutritional knowledge as well as evaluate the attitudes and practices of physicians in regards to diet and cardiovascular disease. What they found was the majority was open to additional training and thought it would improve their patient care. 

Most of the survey respondents — 78 percent — were open to additional training and thought it would result in better patient care. Just over half of the physicians said they currently spend three minutes or less educating patients on diet and lifestyle.

Overall, the survey sheds light on the physicians’ understanding of nutritional principles, their practical knowledge, and the frequency the provider refers a patient to a dietitian or nutritionist. (Most of the physicians didn't routinely refer their patients to a dietitian or nutritionist.) Information gathered from survey will hopefully help providers and ultimately help their patients. It’s a step in the right direction for us to better understand diet and cardiovascular disease and use the information to better treat and prevent comorbidities in patients.

“The fact that most physicians would welcome additional training in diet is a useful — and hopeful — finding of the study. It speaks to where we are now in medicine. Patients, too, are looking for additional ways to improve their cardiovascular risk,” says Nichole Harkin, MD, chief cardiology fellow at the NYU Langone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.

If you are one of the many healthcare professionals interested in increasing your knowledge of diet and lifestyle change for your patients, join us at the 7th Annual Obesity Treatment and Prevention Conference in Baltimore, July 23-25, 2015. It’s the most comprehensive conference available. Visit www.Obesity-conference.com to learn more. 

Source: NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine



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