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Can You Treat Heart Disease without Medication or Surgery? A New Study Says YES.



According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, with approximately 610,000 heart disease related deaths in the United States every year — that’s one in every four deaths.

The medical community is becoming increasingly aware of the connection between heart disease and obesity, with recent studies showing that obesity can increase a person’s risk of developing atrial fibrillation by as much as 40 percent.

Depending on the type and severity, common ways of treating heart disease can be costly, uncomfortable, and impact quality of life. People with heart disease are often prescribed medications that must be taken for the rest of their lives, with missed doses being very dangerous. Others may need surgery. By 2030, annual direct medical costs associated with cardiovascular diseases are projected to rise to more than $818 billion, while lost productivity costs could exceed $275 billion.

However, a recent study shows that there may be a less costly option that promises a more promising long-term solution to heart disease. Recently published Australian research in the peer-reviewed journal Europace shows for the first time that obese people who are suffering from atrial fibrillation can actually reduce or reverse the effects of the condition by losing weight. In fact, researchers found that a 10 percent loss in weight can reverse the progression of the disease.

“This is the first time that evidence has been found that if people who are obese and are suffering from atrial fibrillation the disease can be alleviated by losing weight and treating lifestyle factors,” says lead author Melissa Middeldorp, PhD researcher from the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders.

In addition to reversing the progression of the disease, the study showed some other incredible findings. People in the study who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight:

• Experienced fewer symptoms
• Required less treatment
• Had better outcomes
• Stopped experiencing atrial fibrillation entirely

(Click here to download our free white paper “Obesity Treatment for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease.”)

With heart disease being as prevalent as it is, most health care providers are sure to be seeing many overweight patients in their primary care clinics who are either suffering from heart disease or at risk for developing it. Early treatment, including treatment for risk factors like obesity, is crucial to getting it under control before it becomes a costly and life-threatening problem.

Start the conversation about obesity with your patients today. Don’t know how? Robard Corporation, a leader in the weight management industry from more than 40 years, has many resources that can help, including a free video series, “How to Speak with Patients about Obesity.” To learn more, contact us. We can help you get an obesity treatment program started in three easy steps!

Sources: Science Daily; CDC Foundation; Center for Disease Control


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Maintaining Weight Loss in the Summer Months: Free Staff Training Kit



When it comes to seasonal weight gain, the causes of winter weight gain for most people are obvious. Then, after the winter months, New Year’s Resolutions and the prospect of getting “beach ready” kick people back into gear with their weight loss goals and diets. Unfortunately, once the summer season is upon us, new challenges present themselves that many don’t think much about.

Like winter, there are many causes for summer weight gain that can sabotage the progress your patients may have made. Don’t let your patients fall into the summer trap! Below are some reasons why the summer season can lead to weight gain:

1. BBQs: Cookouts are a summer staple in the U.S., and for good reason. They’re fun opportunities to get together with friends and family and enjoy good weather and good food. Unfortunately, that food is very often full of bad calories! Between BBQ sauce, sugary sweat teas and lemonades, sodium-filled hot dogs, and beers full of empty calories, BBQs are a haven for diet temptations. Check out our blog with some great diet-friendly tips on how to enjoy your summer BBQs without cheating too much.
2. Heat: Did you know the heat itself can actually contribute to weight gain? Many people assume that just because they are sweating, they are losing weight. That’s not necessarily the case. Heat can actually slow your metabolism since your body is not actively working to heat up your body internally like it does during colder weather months. Additionally, when it’s hot, people are less likely to be as physically active and actually move more slowly when outside. Physical activity outdoors tends to drop — and so does the calorie burn. If staying active in the heat is a challenge, encourage your patients to workout indoors or visit the gym where it is air conditioned, or take a swim in a pool which is a full body workout!
3. Summer desserts: What’s the first thing people crave on a hot day? Cold desserts, of course! Ice cream, frozen yogurt, popsicles, and water ice help to combat the summer heat. But they’re also full of sugar, fat, and empty calories. If you’re craving something sweet, Robard offers a variety of dessert products that nutritionally support weight loss, as well as a variety of shakes that can be blended with ice for a cool and delicious treat. And of course, remind your patients to drink plenty of water with ice to cool down and stay hydrated.

Summer can be a difficult season for weight loss patients, but with the proper training and resources, health care providers can be one of the biggest support systems to get them through the season without feeling like they can’t enjoy themselves. Download our free staff training kit, “Added Value Maintenance,” which guides your staff through clear, easy-to-implement guidelines on how to help your patients succeed in the Maintenance Phase of Weight Loss. 

And if your patients need a little extra motivation, download and print out our free Weight Loss Affirmation Cards to keep them thinking positively and help them stay on track!

Sources: Health, NBC News


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Can’t Losing Weight Be Fun?



OK, we get it already! Being overweight has all these health risks… and two-thirds of people are overweight… and being overweight can complicate chronic conditions… and you have to lose weight NOW! Stop eating your favorite foods. Eat less. Workout, workout, workout…

Breathe.

This sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Of course, weight loss patients should be informed about the importance of weight loss to their health, as well as the lifestyle and diet changes that make weight loss possible. But does conversation about it always have to be so serious? Sometimes, a lighter approach is appropriate and helpful.

So why not talk to patients about how weight loss can be FUN?

Patients are already dealing with learning to say “no” to their favorite foods, and adopting activities that seem difficult and challenging, especially where exercise is concerned. Having a lighthearted tone and ensuring your patients that exercise can be fun — even relaxing or stress relieving — can help your patients approach weight loss with a positive mental attitude and a sense of excitement that can set them up for success.

Here are five suggestions for activities your patients can try this weekend that are both fun and burn a ton of calories:

1. Take a walking tour of your city. Get some fresh air and some great exercise by mapping out some interesting historic sites in your city and making it a half day walking activity with family or friends. Stopping to see sites provides for ample rest in between walking. Go at your own pace and make it an enjoyable outing, and don’t forget to bring water and healthy snacks!
2. Dance the night away. When was the last time you went to a club? Get dressed up, grab a friend, and treat yourself to a night out with some good music. If you do go to a club or bar, just watch the alcoholic beverages as they contain empty calories. Make it a sober, but fun night.
3. Become a dog walker. If you like animals, this is a great way to get some weekly exercise, snuggle dogs, and make a few extra bucks! There are actually dog walking apps such as Wag! where you can actually get paid to walk dogs. Or just do it as a favor for friends or neighbors. Walking is a great, low impact exercise, so why not make it fun by adding a cute dog to the picture?
4. Play a game. Did you know there are lots of video games that are designed to help you be active? If you want to get some exercise in the comfort of your own home, and you like video games, try a few rounds of “Dance, Dance Revolution” or “Wii Fit!”
5. Jump! Take a trip to a trampoline park or take an urban rebounding class. Trampoline exercise is another low impact activity that is easy on the joints but provides great cardio in a short period of time. You can even buy your own portable trampoline to use for exercising in your house. What better way to lose weight and feel like a kid again.

For even more ideas on fun ways to lose weight, download one of Robard’s Patient Education Exercise Modules. Our exercise modules are just one of the many complimentary resources that Robard offers our customers to make running a weight loss program easy. If you want to learn more about our complimentary services for weight management professionals, contact us today!


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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