The American Medical Association has recognized obesity as a disease for almost a decade
The National Institutes of Health has recognized obesity as a disease since the 90s.
Yet shockingly few patients are being connected with viable treatment options. These treatment options range from community-based programs such as WW (previously Weight Watchers) and programs offered at the Y, to pharmaceutical-assisted weight loss, to bariatric surgery.
Patients are often treated as solely responsible for reversing their condition, and that medicalizing the attempts at weight loss is taking “the easy way out”. We see this principle play out in reality television shows that subject people with obesity to extreme diets and dangerous exercise regimes. Rather than work holistically with patients in a welcoming environment that recognizes the multifactorial nature of obesity, these shows put patients in demeaning and hostile environments designed to entertain audiences at home.Worst still is the fact that many people continue to sign up for these shows because they cannot otherwise afford to access these treatments.
This is all rooted in deep stigma that pursuing weight loss is some kind of vanity project, when the research and medical literature in fact can connect obesity with a number of different health conditions – including cardiovascular health, endocrine and metabolic health, musculoskeletal and joint health, mental health, fertility, and more.
At our clinic, we encourage you to try a number of different methods of pursuing weight loss, and can connect you with allied health professionals – be it primary care physicians, endocrinologists, dieticians, or therapists – to help you along your journey. Surgery is just one part of the solution.