The image never fails: a slender, happy person holding up that extra-large pair of pants he or she (presumably) used to wear before losing a bunch of weight. What the picture doesn't show is just how hard lasting weight loss can really be. Many people who are obese or overweight need outside help, especially when excess weight affects their health. Medically supervised weight loss is an option for some -- and a specialized diet is just part of the program.
Dr. Ethan Lazarus is the director of Clinical Nutrition Center in Greenwood Village, Colorado. As a family medicine physician and obesity medicine physician, Lazarus brings a dual perspective to treating obesity. The main advantage in centers like his, he says, is that clinicians have training in how to treat weight conditions, which are seen as multifaceted medical issues, not failures of willpower.
In patients' first hourlong visit with Lazarus, he takes a comprehensive medical history. "A lot of that history is focused on their weight, diet and exercise history -- components of their history nobody's ever asked about," he says. ...continue reading