RobardUser Robard Corporation | Treating Obesity

The Other Obesity-Related Disorder Physicians Should Be Talking About – And It’s Not Diabetes… (Free White Paper)




Overweight and obesity have long been associated with over 30 different chronic comorbid conditions. But some of these conditions are more readily talked about with providers than others. The impact of weight on Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Hypertension is pretty clear to both patients and physicians alike. 

But did you know that Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease affects one-third of American adults and is expected to be the most common reason for liver transplantation?

Fatty liver occurs when too much fat is stored in the liver cells. Over time, this extra fat can lead to inflammation and scarring, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and putting the patient at highest risk for liver cirrhosis necessitating liver transplant.

The insidious thing about fatty liver is that it generally does not present any symptoms, so it is a condition that can go undiagnosed.  However, it is most often suspected when the liver enzymes are elevated on routine blood testing, but is generally definitely confirmed through liver biopsy.

What causes fatty liver isn’t definitely known, but is clearly associated with being overweight or obese. According to the Mayo Clinic, NAFLD affects an estimated 80 million to 100 million Americans, and 90 percent of the patients diagnosed with NASH (and are at high risk for cirrhosis) are either overweight or obese.

Because of the asymptomatic nature of fatty liver disease, physicians may be unknowingly taking preemptive measures to diagnose the disorder when they choose to address their patients’ weight through a medically supervised weight loss program. Robard’s program, for example, involves physician-reviewed medical protocols that require the patient to undergo ongoing medical supervision and blood work that can be helpful in identifying underlying conditions such as fatty liver. And even more good news – one of the most effective and least invasive methods of treating the disease has been found to be weight loss. So participation in a weight management program can help physicians simultaneously diagnose AND treat the disease. How’s that for efficiency?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of deaths from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis has risen every year since 2007, and with obesity also on the rise, we can count on those deaths to steadily increase -- unless physicians take a proactive approach.

"Weight loss works, whether through a bariatric procedure or a strict dietary approach," says Dr. Jay Horton, director, Center for Human Nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Even an eight percent to 10 percent weight loss seems to improve liver fat.”

If you are interested in learning more about fatty liver and the most efficient way to diagnose and treat it, download our free white paper, Liver Enzyme Abnormalities, by Dr. John D. Hernried of The Hernried Center for Medical Weight Loss. Then contact us to find out more about how we can help you get a program started that can help you provide the solutions your patients need to live healthier lives!

Sources: US News, CNBC

Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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How Social Support Aids Weight Loss



Physicians are making great strides in learning how to effectively treat obesity despite the innumerable challenges that stand in the way of patients’ success. Overweight and obese patients sometime must face their own internalized stigma — but what happens when they leave their provider’s office? If a patient doesn’t have social support, their success can be derailed — and not just at the beginning stages of weight loss, but also when it comes to long-term maintenance.

Of course, having their physician’s support is crucial, as many patients are not familiar with the most effective and safe methods to lose weight. For those with a significant amount of weight to lose, a medically supervised diet may be the only successful way to get to a healthy weight (short of costly and sometimes invasive surgeries). It is usually the doctor’s role to provide the information, resources, and expertise necessary to make such a drastic health change happen. But recent studies are starting to show that positive (rather than instructive) social support appears beneficial in weight loss maintenance.

If you’re a health care provider seeing overweight patients who are reluctant to start a weight loss program, having trouble being compliant, or experience regain after successfully completing a program, you may need to assess whether or not a lack of social support is a factor.

Don’t be afraid to ask your patients directly about what kind of support they have (or don’t have) outside your office. Do they experience bullying or fat shaming in their workplace or community? Do they have family or friends who encourage them? Do they have family or friends that enable their bad eating habits?

As a provider, there may be some things you can do to fill these gaps to help your patients be more successful. Consider some of these strategies:

1. Do you have a psychologist, nutritionist, or health educator on staff?
Perhaps this person can start a weekly or monthly support group for weight loss patients, a “no judgement group” where patients can meet with other patients to vent, share successes and frustrations, and know they are not alone in the process. This can create wonderful morale that supports the weight loss journey. If you don’t have a staff member who can facilitate this, perhaps you can identify a patient or volunteer who would be willing to facilitate this kind of gathering.

2. Encourage your patients to buddy up. 
According to one study, participants who enrolled in a weight loss program with friends did a better job of keeping their weight off. In addition to teaming up with friends, these enrollees were given social support in addition to standard treatment. Two-thirds of those who enrolled with friends had kept their weight off six months after the meetings ended. In contrast, only a quarter of those who attended on their own had achieved that same success. Ask your patients if they have family or friends who are interested in losing weight too, and provide a referral incentive for getting them onboard. That’s a win-win for both of you because that also adds to your patient census!

3. Start an online community for your patients.
If you don’t have the time, money, or space to do a formal support group, social media provides us with great free alternatives. For example, you can create a secret, invitation-only Facebook group that allows patients to interact with and support each other, while still being a safe and confidential space. Have a staff member moderate the group to ensure ground rules are being followed, and incorporate it into your practice’s usual social media routine. Need some help with exploring the possibilities through social media? Download our free helpful guide of tips to learn how to effectively use social media for your weight loss program.

Sources: American Psychological Association, NCBI, Mayo Clinic


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Is Fast Food Making Your Patients Overweight?



These days, everything needs to be fast. We need fast internet, fast traffic, fast DMV lines. Fast is almost always better, right? The keyword is almost. Fast seems great on a surface level but when it comes to fast food, the tradeoff is fast weight gain.

According to a 15-year study of 3,000 adults, people who visited fast food restaurants more than twice per week gained roughly nine to 11 pounds more than people who visited them less than once per week. And if you’re patients are grabbing fast foods more than twice per week, there’s the potential that they will put on a lot of extra pounds.

There are a wide variety of fast food options, but they all tend to have something in common: Most fast food ingredients contain more energy, total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates and added sugars than healthier food of the same weight. As a result of these less healthy ingredients, eating fast food has been found to be directly associated with both being overweight and exceeding the recommended levels of fat and sugar

Fast food also tends to be loaded with empty calories. As we discussed in our blog article, Why Weight Loss is not as Simple as Cutting Calories, health care professionals cannot just discuss limiting calories with their patients. They also need to discuss the nutritional value present in the foods their calories are coming from.

Unlike healthier food items, most fast foods contain substantially fewer vitamins and minerals, and tend to be filled with carbs and sugars devoid of any real nutritional value. Conversely, healthier foods that contain more vitamins and minerals, like fruits and veggies, can help people feel satiated longer and reduce daily calorie intake.

Convenience is a huge reason that many Americans opt for fast food. But physicians can support patients in making healthier food choices while still not sacrificing convenience, satiety, or even taste. Robard’s meal replacement products are scientifically designed for optimal nutrition, provide all the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy weight loss, while decreasing caloric intake. Plus, with easy, convenient options like ready to drink shakes and bars, patients can still grab and go without settling for empty, non-nutritious fast foods.

Curious about how using meal replacements can help your patients make better food choices while losing weight? Check out our free, on-demand video Meal Replacements for Short and Long Term Success and learn how meal replacements can benefit your patients at any stage of their journey! Then contact us for some free samples so you can taste them yourself!

Source: Bariatric Surgery Source


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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