DENVER, Jan. 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It's no secret that most people want to lose weight this time of year. But even if the weight comes off easily, there's still the life-long struggle to maintain it. What if there was a way to better ensure that weight lost at the beginning of the year could stay off?
Obesity medicine clinicians are physicians and other health care providers trained in the specialized field of obesity medicine. They partner with patients to help them lose weight safely and effectively by creating individualized treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique situation. Plans may include weight-management medications, behavioral counseling, personalized nutrition plans, and exercise prescription.
"The most effective way to lose weight—and keep it off—is to consult with an obesity medicine physician or health care provider," said Dr. Deborah Bade Horn, medical director of the University of Texas Center for Obesity Medicine and Metabolic Performance. "Many patients who have previously tried over-the-counter supplements, dieting, commercial weight-loss programs, or other methods go to an obesity medicine specialist because they want a plan personalized to meet their needs."
Patients who visit an obesity medicine clinician can expect to lose weight in a healthy way, supervised by a trained medical professional. They also have what other weight-loss programs do not: access to prescription weight-management medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA approved two new weight-management medications in 2014 and two in 2012. These prescription medications are intended to be used in conjunction with other weight-loss methods agreed upon by the patient and their doctor.
"Medications can aid in weight-loss success by interrupting physical pathways that control hunger, cravings, metabolism, and addictive behaviors, allowing patients to focus on altering their behavior and creating an overall healthier lifestyle," said Horn.
Because the weight-management medications received FDA approval so recently, many health care providers have not had training on how best to use them and might need additional guidance before prescribing them to patients.
"The American Society of Bariatric Physicians offers a free resource to physicians—the Obesity Algorithm—which outlines the different methods of treating patients affected by obesity and includes descriptions of all four new weight-management medications," said Dr. Jennifer Seger, an obesity medicine physician at the Bariatric Medical Institute of Texas.
Patients can search for an obesity medicine clinician in their area from the American Society of Bariatric Physicians' (ASBP) member database at www.FindObesityTreatment.org. The Obesity Algorithm is available for free online at www.ObesityAlgorithm.org.
Obesity medicine clinicians also help patients confront a number of other obesity-related conditions that may affect their health. For example, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and many cancers are all linked to obesity.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one-third of adults are living with obesity. In 2013, the American Medical Association declared obesity a disease and has since advocated for better access to obesity treatment options for patients.
ASBP is the leading association for physicians and other health care providers dedicated to the comprehensive medical treatment of patients affected by obesity and associated conditions. ASBP holds one of the few obesity-focused medical specialty society seats in the American Medical Association's House of Delegates. Many ASBP-member physicians hold certification from the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Dr. Deborah Bade Horn currently serves as ASBP's president-elect and is a co-chair on the ASBP Obesity Algorithm Committee. Dr. Jennifer Seger is a former ASBP Board of Trustees member and currently serves as a co-chair on the ASBP Obesity Algorithm Committee.
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Source:American Society of Bariatric Physicians