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Category Archives: About Obesity

The Association Between Artificial Sweeteners and Obesity

May 4, 2020

The general public thinks that cutting sugar from the diet and replacing it with artificial sweeteners is a great choice for weight loss. Research suggests otherwise. A recent article from University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas suggests that artificial sweeteners appear to lead to decreased fullness and alter the processing of sugar in the body.   Sweeteners were also associated with increased caloric intake and weight gain. “Artificial sweeteners are marketed as a healthy alternative to sugar and as a tool for weight loss. Data however suggests that the intended effects do not correlate with what is seen in clinical practice.”

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COVID-19 and Obesity

April 14, 2020

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention   suggests that older patients, immune compromised, and obese patients are at greater risk for severe illness with coronavirus. Specifically, they cite a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 as a risk factor. Data from China also suggests that higher weight is a risk factor for more severe disease with COVID-19. Compared to normal weight people, overweight and obese people had a much higher risk of developing severe pneumonia. Obesity, especially in men, significantly increases the risk of developing severe pneumonia. In Louisiana, some 97% of those killed by COVID-19 had a pre-existing condition, according to the state health department. Diabetes was seen in 40% of the deaths, obesity in 25%, chronic kidney disease in 23% and cardiac problems in 21%. Continue reading

Does Obesity Cause Other Diseases?

March 12, 2020

It is no secret that obesity has been linked to multiple health conditions, ranging from minor to deadly. Human bodies are extremely complex systems, with near unlimited factors we can’t control. Connections have been found between obesity and an increased occurrence of: coronary heart disease, stroke, dementia, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, gallbladder cancer, liver cancer, sleep apnea, hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, breathing problems, clinical depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and functional difficulty.

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The Problem With Pride

July 15, 2019

I am firmly convinced that one of the biggest obstacles to successful weight loss is PRIDE. Pride keeps people from asking for help even when they are drowning. Pride keeps people from being helped even when help is offered. It is an attitude of the heart that says “I can do it on my own” and “I know better how to deal with this”. I have been as guilty of this as anyone.

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Courage…One reason why bariatric surgery isn’t “taking the easy way”

December 14, 2016

Doctor's office scale on gray background marks changing weight as a patient loses pounds after choosing bariatric surgery with Dr. Craig Chang

It takes a great deal of courage and humility to ask for help with your weight.  Weight is very personal and patients must “swallow their pride” and admit that their way of managing isn’t working.  Oftentimes, patients have tried for years to manage their weight and have failed more often than they have succeeded.  If they were successful, they wouldn’t be asking for anyone else’s help!

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Why most medical weight loss will fail…

December 5, 2016

I’ve heard that quite a few patients are doing medically supervised weight loss plans.

  1. When patients do temporary plans, they have temporary weight loss.
  2. When the diet stops, the patient is largely destined to regain weight. although this sounds like #1, it’s different. When you have to purchase foods or shakes or meal replacements, NO ONE will do this lifelong. Therefore they will only have temporary weight loss. The average American cannot afford the additional expense for a lifetime.
  3. Protein shakes as meal replacements don’t work. the feelings of fullness are partially generated by chewing your food. You will not get this from drinking a smoothie or drinking a protein shake.
  4. If the stomach is not properly filled, the patient stays in a starvation state. Studies of contestants from the Biggest Loser showed that their basal metabolic rate (BMR) went down by 25%. However, the same studay also showed that the BMR decreased with gastric bypass. The differences are the following…there was a smaller decrease with bypass and the calorie intake was lowered so much with bypass that patients were much more likely to keep weight off.
  5. Most patients I see for bariatric surgery have tried some gimicky medical weight loss plan…usually with Phentermine. If this really worked well, they would not be considering bariatric surgery!

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Sleep Apnea – Diseases Associated With Obesity

February 1, 2016

There is no shortage of diseases associated with excess weight and obesity. While some are very obvious – such as reduced movement and joint pain – others are more commonly found during routine checkups and blood work ups – like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. These silent diseases, with few outward or consistent symptoms can lead to serious follow-on disorders.

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