EmbraceYou Resources for Clinicians
Our mission at Embrace You Weight & Wellness is Transforming Obesity Care and the Weight Loss Industry to release the outdated "one size fits all" approach and embrace innovative, integrative, and individualized solutions.
Read more about my approach below.
Weight is Complicated
For years we've been taught that the key to losing weight is just "calories in vs calories out."
Unfortunately, this misinformation has only contributed to making people who struggle with their weight feel judged and blamed.
How do you best help your patients navigate their weight journey? Here are a few things to consider.
It is predicted that at least 42% of Americans will have obesity by 2030. It is critical we work now to prevent and treat obesity from a multi-system approach.
Obesity is a Complex Medical Disease
As this Obesity Society Infographic shows, there are over seventy contributors to abnormal accumulation of body fat (obesity).
It's especially important that healthcare professionals recognize the complexity of obesity and tailor treatment to the individual in a non-judgmental way just as we would any other medical condition.
Infographic Courtesy The Obesity Society
Weight Loss Isn't One-Size-Fits-All
It is also critical for individuals and professionals treating obesity to know that people are not their medical condition. People are NOT obese. They have obesity but that does not encompass all they are.
Obesity is not a personal choice; it is a complex disease that is impacted by multiple factors including genetic predisposition, environment, and socioeconomic status. The best treatment for your patient is determined by the factors influencing causing their obesity.
Treat the Whole Person, Not Just the Scale
At the heart of it, taking care of patients goes beyond just numbers. Obesity, as defined by the Obesity Medicine Association, is a "chronic, relapsing, multi-factorial, neurobehavioral disease, wherein an increase in body fat promotes adipose tissue dysfunction and abnormal fat mass physical forces, resulting in adverse metabolic, biomechanical, and psychosocial health consequences." That’s why when it comes to true health, I like to treat the whole person and not just the scale. Rather than focus on trying to hit an ideal weight or body mass index, I emphasize healthy lifestyle habits that help the patient look, feel, and perform at their best, no matter what their best may be.
This includes eating whole, nourishing foods; participating in physical activity that’s meaningful and enjoyable to the patient; sleeping enough hours to allow their body and mind to rest; and surrounding the patient with a strong network of supportive people.
Many people will start their weight journey by seeking help from their primary care clinician.
Having practiced primary care for over 7 years prior to becoming an obesity specialist and wellness coach, I know first hand it is useful to have tools to help with weight management in the primary care setting. The "Weight Can't Wait" Guide is a handy, time sensitive guide that can be used in primary care (See below).
My personal tips are:
1. Schedule appointments only to discuss weight management. Insurance based practices can use Medicare billing codes for Medicare patients or non-Medicare codes for patients not insured by Medicare. Please note these are general guidelines. I recommend you check with your practice's billing specialist to verify coverage.
2. Set expectations at the first appointment about expected weight loss and frequency of appointments. Use the Weight Can't Weight Guide.
3. Since obesity is so complex, it is useful to refer patient to an obesity specialist if that is willing to partner with you to optimize patient's care. Dr. Bollie and the Embrace You Weight & Wellness program is always available to you and your patients globally through virtual visits. However if your patient desires in person appointments you can use the Obesity Medical Association clinician finder to find a clinician near you.
Gallagher, C., Corl, A. and Dietz, W.H. (2021), Weight Can’t Wait: A Guide to Discussing Obesity and Organizing Treatment in the Primary Care Setting. Obesity, 29: 821-824. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.23154
See also Chapter 17: "Where can I turn for trusted obesity information?" Facing Overweight & Obesity: A Complete Guide For Children & Adults by Dr. Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie.
Are you a doctor or clinician? Let's keep in touch!