By Dr. Shari Maddix

As a weight loss physician, I have the opportunity to help people with one of the most important aspects of their overall health. Obesity and other weight related conditions are difficult for many people to deal with and addressing these medical issues can be deeply personal or even emotional. This leads to weight loss physicians having a unique relationship with their patients. Medi-Weightloss focuses on the medical, nutritional and physical components of weight management and the majority of our patients achieve significant results.

To see patients reach their weight loss goals, keep their weight off and make beneficial changes to their lives is an incredibly rewarding feeling. Interestingly, after patients conclude their weight loss journeys, some will ask why I choose to solely focus on helping people lose weight. This question always puzzles me because obesity is one of the most serious medical issues affecting the lives of millions of Americans.

Currently, more than 66 percent of American adults and 31 percent of American children are considered to be overweight or obese. Future projections indicate even higher rates, and for America to win the fight against the obesity epidemic, more physicians need to be directly involved in providing weight loss solutions. The need for obesity medicine providers is now at a critical point.

There is some hope. The American Medical Association (AMA) recently adopted a policy that recognizes obesity as a disease. This resolution is controversial in the medical community since it challenges the perception among many medical professionals that obesity is a lifestyle choice. The AMA policy will hopefully reduce the stigma of obesity, encouraging those who need help to actively seek treatment.

Dr. Shari Maddix has helped patients in Brevard County lose over 20,000 pounds.

Dr. Shari Maddix has helped patients in Brevard
County lose over 20,000 pounds.

The medical community should also place greater emphasis on treatment options or refer patients to weight loss specialists. The insurance companies should also provide more coverage for counseling, obesity medications and surgery. With everyone finally getting on board, the U.S. should start seeing a decrease in its rates of obesity.

There are well-established methods in place to treat overweight and obese patients. Most people gain weight from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Others have health conditions or take medications that increase their weight. In general, most patients will benefit from changes in diet, increased activity level, and long-term behavior modification. Weight loss medication or surgery may be required for other patients. Regardless of the treatment chosen, it is important that patients and their doctors start addressing the

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Most people know obesity can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and even cancer. Other medical issues linked to obesity include infertility, depression, immobility and sleep apnea. Making weight loss an immediate priority will improve a person’s quality of life or even save their life.

I began practicing weight loss as a bariatric physician in 2006. In Brevard County alone, I have helped patients lose over 20,000 pounds. I see firsthand dramatic improvements in their health and the overall well being of my patients. Some patients have discontinued or reduced their use of blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes medications. Some patients are able to avoid the development of major health issues. Others simply regain the confidence necessary to go for a bike ride, reconnect with family members and friends, or become more involved in community activities. It is amazing to see lives being changed every day, and it is an honor to be a part of my patients’ journeys.

While attitudes towards obesity and its medical treatment have improved in recent years, more progress is needed to ensure people are receiving the help they need to effectively lose weight. Weight loss and weight maintenance are complex issues that require proper evaluation and a plan of action. If you have concerns, please talk to your physician about making weight loss a priority, or consult a specialist who has specific experience in weight loss.

Medi-Weightloss | (321) 610-7982 | MediWeightLossClinics.com

This article appears in the January 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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