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Is Medical Weight Loss Really Necessary?

For too long, the weight loss industry has promoted its programs as a medical necessity. But the evidence supporting this view is flawed and misleading. In fact, many of the medical problems associated with being overweight are not reversed by losing weight, and some can actually increase in severity. The obsession with a number on the scale also distorts research, leading to misguided efforts to treat obesity by focusing only on diet and exercise. This approach may actually harm people, especially those who are obese. It can stigmatize people, reducing their willingness to seek help. For example, a study by Kimberly Gudzune found that people who felt their doctor discriminated against them because of their weight were less likely to come back for another visit.

Overweight individuals face an enormous stigma More Info in many settings. They are often portrayed as lazy or greedy, and the stereotype of overweight individuals is that they are “overeaters.” This stigma is harmful in both personal and professional ways. It can contribute to biased research, leading scientists to ignore other important factors in a person’s health, such as social and environmental factors. It can also lead to poorer outcomes in patients, including missed or delayed diagnoses and chronic stress.

It is time to replace a focus on lowering BMI with a focus on a patient’s overall health and well-being. To do this, doctors should evaluate a patient’s health and medical needs on the basis of blood pressure, cholesterol and other biomarkers rather than body weight. In addition, they should promote lifestyle changes that improve behaviors related to diet and exercise — regardless of whether these behaviors result in lower body weight — and offer patients support and education about maintaining their new habits for life.

For instance, many studies have shown that a healthy diet is equally effective at managing obesity as is pharmacological treatment. And a small group of physicians have already started to adopt this “weight-inclusive” model, demonstrating that it can improve outcomes and decrease costs by targeting other risk factors.

Medical weight loss is a program that is prescribed and monitored by a doctor for those who have a BMI higher than 30. It involves a combination of different strategies including nutrition education, behavioral approaches, exercise programs, monitoring, and pharmacological agents.

However, it is important to note that Medical Weight Loss can be dangerous if not done under the supervision of a physician. There have been reports of serious complications associated with two FDA-regulated devices used to aid in the weight loss process: an oral space occupying device that limits bite size and increases digestion time, and a gastric balloon that temporarily takes up space in the stomach. The balloons can fill with air or enlarge, both of which can be life-threatening and require the device to be removed. The FDA has been working to educate physicians about these risks and continue to monitor the safety of these devices. If you or someone you know has experienced any issues with these devices, please report it to the FDA’s MedWatch.

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