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One-Third of the World is Overweight and We Are Part of the Problem



According to a recent article by CNN, 2 billion adults and children worldwide – the equivalent of one-third of the world’s population -- is overweight, and the U.S. is among the countries most severely affected.

The article reflected the results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that included 195 countries and territories. The study also notes that an increasing number of people globally are dying from comorbid conditions related to obesity, such as cardiovascular disease.

“People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk -- risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who worked on the study. “Those half-serious New Year’s resolutions to lose weight should become year-round commitments to lose weight and prevent future weight gain,” he said in a statement.

The conclusions of the study do important work in highlighting obesity as a growing concern in global public health as a chronic condition in and of itself; however, researchers also hope to educate the public at large about the link between obesity and other diseases in the hopes that preventative measures and treatment can help people avert early mortality. Almost 70 percent of deaths related to an elevated BMI in the analysis were due to cardiovascular disease, killing 2.7 million people in 2015, with diabetes being the second leading cause of death.

The study notes that obesity rates rose in all countries studied, irrespective of the country’s income level. “Changes in the food environment and food systems are probably major drivers,” they write. “Increased availability, accessibility, and affordability of energy dense foods, along with intense marketing of such foods, could explain excess energy intake and weight gain among different populations.”

While obesity rates continue to rise in the U.S., with approximately one-third of our own adult population being overweight or obese, we are luckier than other countries to have access to medical resources that can help curb this epidemic. Now more than ever, the need to begin treating obesity is becoming a public health imperative and medical providers are being called on to lead the charge. (Interested in learning how obesity treatment affects population health? Register for this free webcast!)

Treating obesity is easier than you may think, especially when you work with an experienced partner. Robard takes all the guess work out of treating obesity, and provides all the tools and resources to get you started within 60 days. Join in the conversation that’s happening, not just around the country, but around the world, and learn more about medical weight management today.




Source: CNN

Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation



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Medical Providers Aren’t Learning About Obesity



When discussing weight, there’s a disconnection between the dieter and healthcare provider. Many providers find it difficult to even broach the subject, despite the escalating rise in the disease its related chronic conditions. It would seem that the importance of obesity education is more important than ever. However, the lack of obesity education in medical training is alarming.

According to a recent study conducted by Northwestern Medicine, licensing exams for medical students have a “surprisingly low” amount of questions in regards to obesity prevention and treatment. Why is this problematic?

“It’s a trickle-down effect,” said lead study author Dr. Robert Kushner. “If it’s not being tested, it won’t be taught as robustly as it should be.” Putting a finer point on it, “The inadequate testing means medical schools have less incentive to provide obesity education in their curriculum, and students have less incentive to learn about it.”

So what’s being done to remedy the situation? For starters, the National Board of Medical Examiners (NMBE) requested that a panel — the same panel of six obesity medicine specialists that reviewed test items from several United States Medical Licensing Examinations to perform the study — identified which topics weren’t adequately covered on the exams in relation to obesity. The panel also suggested that development committees consisting of obesity experts be established in order to begin adding obesity-related elements these exams.

However, something does need to be done in the intermediate. Updates to these exams will benefit future healthcare providers and their patients, but obesity is an intensifying epidemic that needs more immediate, contemporary solutions. As a provider, if treating obesity isn’t or wasn’t one of your primary objectives, maybe it’s time to change that.

Source: Northwestern University


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation

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How You Can Treat Arthritis – By Not Treating Arthritis



For every pound of excess weight, four pounds of extra pressure are put on the knees. Needless to say, overweight and obese people are at much higher risk of developing arthritis. In fact, an obese person has a 60 percent greater risk of getting arthritis than people who maintain a healthy body weight.

One in five Americans has been diagnosed with arthritis, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that number jumps to more than one in three among obese people — and two out of three Americans are either overweight or obese.

“Weight plays an important role in joint stress, so when people are very overweight, it puts stress on their joints, especially their weight-bearing joints, like the knees and the hips,” says Eric Matteson, MD, chair of the rheumatology division at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

While many may disregard arthritis as unimportant and non-life threatening, it is in fact a chronic condition with serious impact on people’s lives. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and can lead to many debilitating problems for overweight people, from daily pain and discomfort, decreased mobility, and may even necessitate surgery.

One study examined the factors contributing to total knee and hip replacements in people between the ages of 18 and 50. A remarkable 72 percent of those who underwent joint replacement surgery were obese.

Weight loss has been shown to be effective in decreasing the effects, prevalence, and onset of many comorbid conditions, particularly arthritis. A study of overweight women showed that a weight loss of merely 11 pounds reduced their risk of developing knee Osteoarthritis by half.

Healthcare costs attributed to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions (AORC) in the United States in 2003 was approximately $128 billion, and is continuing to increase as obesity continues to rise.  For providers who have patients that suffer from arthritis, or who are at risk for arthritis, weight loss using a medically supervised program can mean an enhanced quality of life for their patients, as well as provide a cost effective solution to arthritis, and many other comorbid conditions.

In a quickly changing healthcare climate, providers must be quick to adopt smarter and cost-effective strategies to reduce expenditures while maximizing quality of care. Treating comorbid conditions singularly without looking at the bigger picture of what is causing these ailments will increasingly become a costly mistake for both physicians and their patients. Talk to Robard today about how to streamline your patient care efforts by starting a medical weight management program today.

Sources: CDC, John Hopkins Arthritis Center, Everyday Health, Arthritis Foundation


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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