"Obesity is a topic that literally hits home for me.  For the past two years, the website WalletHub has voted the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission TX metroplex as the 'fattest city in America.'  As a health care provider, this is deeply disturbing because it puts my community at high risk for a wide variety of health problems, including but not limited to coronary artery disease, ...

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If you’ve felt an uptick in urges to munch and crunch your way through the day since COVID-19 has revamped our lives, you’re not alone. It’s hard enough not to fall prey to emotional and mindless eating in the best of times. Enduring skyrocketing stress while hunkered down, we need compassion for what we’re experiencing and a redoubling of attunement to emotions and appetite regulation in order to stay healthy ...

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As we face this pandemic head-on, there is another problem we cannot afford to lose sight of, the problem of overweight and obesity. Nearly 70 percent of the people in the USA suffer from either overweight or obesity. The stress this pandemic is putting on us as individuals and as a society is unprecedented. While people are grappling with the current threat of coronavirus, the constant fear of getting infected exponentially ...

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Obesity is a topic that literally hits home for me.  For the past two years, the website WalletHub has voted the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission TX metroplex as the “fattest city in America.”  As a health care provider, this is deeply disturbing because it puts my community at high risk for a wide variety of health problems, including but not limited to coronary artery disease, diabetes, stroke, and several cancers such as liver, kidney, breast, ...

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By the time I turned 40, I had gained and lost 40 pounds at least ten times. It started with the “freshman fifteen” plus another twenty-five in college. In medical school, I was introduced to sweetened coffee beverages, and I snacked on pretzels and candy to stay awake while studying. I got through overnight call during residency by using my meal tickets to buy chocolate-covered ice cream bars. And once ...

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Consuming too many potato latkes and Christmas cookies has left its mark on our waistlines. Unfortunately for Americans and their medical care, the seasonal overeating seems to last all year. Indeed, the American Medical Association has declared that obesity is a disease. It may be more accurate to describe obesity as a contributor to certain diseases. Obesity raises the risk of premature death, heart disease, high blood ...

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"Aren't you happy for me?" asks the patient smiling from the exam chair in my office. I say yes, but that's not entirely true. Happiness isn't the right word. Conflicted might be it. How do I reconcile my feelings when this patient, who I am not sure is deserving, reports that he was awarded Social Security disability? Sure, he has severe arthritis, wildly uncontrolled diabetes, and a massive skin breakdown of his ...

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All of us are aware of what has been termed our “obesity epidemic.” The current prevalence of obesity among adults in the U.S. is around 40 percent, a dramatic increase over the past 50 years; it was about 15 percent in 1970. Rates are also increasing across first world countries, so we are not alone in this. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Values of ...

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Fat shaming has come back into the collective consciousness in a big way, following James Corden’s rebuke of Bill Maher’s comments that “some amount of shame is good.” Corden, as many have pointed out, is spot-on in his assessment: No amount of fat-shaming is going to help solve the current obesity epidemic. It will, in fact, make it much worse. But perhaps the biggest problem ...

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This summer, not unlike many families across the country, we were fortunate enough to visit a theme park while celebrating our break from another challenging school year. Being a mother and a pediatrician, I must admit how concerned I was to witness the number of children with obesity attending the park. While we waited in line for the various rides, I couldn't help considering how best to advise families on making ...

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No matter what profession you are in, having uncomfortable and difficult conversations is something you have to get used to. Tim Ferris said in his bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek (which I’d highly recommend), “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” It could be with another colleague, a client or customer. Even in your personal ...

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If an apple a day can keep the doctor away, how much more can a delicious burrito bowl with citrus lime vinaigrette do? About half of all American adults – 117 million -- have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity. According to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, more than two-thirds of adults and nearly ...

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As medical professionals, one of the most challenging things to do is to motivate a patient to make changes in their lives. We passionately want the best for our patients, and it is sometimes so difficult for us to be able to connect with and inspire them to take the next step on a path to disease prevention and longevity. The solution? Enter Lebron James and Tom Brady. It is no ...

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I met a young man in my clinic recently, who came for treatment of obesity. He was only 26, yet suffered from obesity throughout his life — now reaching a debilitating 420 pounds. His explanation for how he developed obesity was a reflection of the issues surrounding nutrition health policy in the U.S. He said that “it would have been easier to not put the weight on to begin with,” that ...

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Obesity is a global epidemic, and its prevalence is increasing in every part of the world. While we have new medications and complex surgical techniques that promote weight loss, the awareness of healthy eating habits and dietary education are still the most important factors in helping control body weight. Unfortunately, nutrition knowledge appears confined largely to books and exams; as the doctors barely engage in nutrition counseling with patients. In teaching ...

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Eat less, exercise more is a common refrain heard by millions of people with obesity. If only it were that simple. Decades of research shows obesity is a disease that is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, biological, and behavioral factors that requires a range of interventions for treatment and prevention. The American Medical Association, the nation’s largest physician group, agreed when it officially recognized obesity as a disease ...

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I was misinformed about medical school. Growing up, I wanted to help people become healthy. After four years at the Ohio State University Medical School and three years of a family medicine residency, I still did not know enough to accomplish my goal. My training allowed me to become a disease-care expert, not a health care specialist. I was taught little to nothing about nutrition and true disease prevention. Despite ...

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In 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced its decision to classify obesity as a disease, moving against the recommendation at the time of a group studying obesity. Yet there are still those who believe that obesity is not a disease but rather a “condition,” and this has downstream ramifications for health policy, health care provider reimbursement, and, ultimately, societal health and well-being. But this is ...

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An excerpt from Let Go of Emotional Overeating and Love Your Food: A Five-Point Plan for Success. Copyright © 2018 by Arlene B. Englander. Published by Rowman & Littlefield. All rights reserved.  Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight or keep weight off realizes that evening can be ...

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I cannot get behind fat acceptance, or better stated in medical lingo as “normalizing obesity.” As a physician and as someone who has been obese or morbidly obese my adult life, I know first hand what it’s like to hate my body and feel ashamed of it. I still do this very moment as I type this, that’s something I have to work on. Funny thing is, I am much more ...

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