11:23 AM

As Obesity Grows, New Strategies to Combat It

The Wall Street Journal reports on new strategies for healthcare providers to combat obesity. According to medical experts, rather than just focusing on diet and exercise, healthcare providers need to shift to a multipronged strategy that includes new prescription weight-loss medications, behavioral therapy and possibly surgery. It is also advised for clinicians who are specially trained in treating obesity to oversee this new approach, to ensure the best results. 

Obesity-medicine specialists learn about the complex interplay of biological, genetic, psychological and environmental factors that contribute to obesity and how to personalize the most-effective strategies for diet, exercise and behavioral change to lose weight and keep it off. They also are trained to recognize which patients need extra help from drugs or weight-loss surgeries after lifestyle-change strategies have failed.

HSS weight management specialist, Caroline A. Andrew, MD, has her own practice at the hospital where surgeons often refer patients to her to help them lose weight before a joint replacement. She works with patients for at least three to six months to lose 5-10 percent of their body weight, which can produce immediate benefits in reducing pain and improving blood pressure and heart rate, among other things. Among her services, Dr. Andrew may provide behavioral counseling or prescribe a weight-loss drug, or refer patients to a therapist or dietitian for additional help.

Read the full article at WSJ.com. This article also appeared in print on June 9, 2020.