Oprah recently had a segment on her Oprah Daily show called “The State of Weight” and she invited a panel of experts from obesity medicine doctors to psychologists, even the CEO of Weight Watchers joined in to have a very important conversation that we honestly need to have more of. And as a medical weight loss expert myself, I wanted to share with you my three big takeaways from that show that’s very important for you to know and hopefully will essentially change your life moving forward.
So first of all, they kicked off the segment saying there are actually 2 billion adults that struggle with obesity worldwide. That is such an alarming statistic. In fact, Oprah even stated that there are more people that die of obesity over malnutrition. It’s important for us to discuss number one, the first big takeaway that obesity is a disease.
It is not a cosmetic choice. There is so much involved from genetics, family history, medications, age, gender. If you have a thyroid problem or you have diabetes. There are so many factors that contribute to someone’s weight that it’s important for you to understand that you no longer identify yourself as an obese person, but rather just a person who struggles with obesity.
And the good news is that there are so many new medical treatments, just like any other treatment for high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity does have medical treatment for you. And it’s very important to distinguish, and they mentioned this on the show, that you need to differentiate that obesity is a disease, not a lack of willpower. And in fact, an American Medical Association designated that it is a disease over 10 years ago. But gosh, society is still slow to recognize that even insurance companies still have a fine line of what they define as obesity.
But it is really important for us to have that conversation that we need to understand that there is more to it than just calories in calories out. That’s the first biggest takeaway.
The second biggest takeaway is that, of course, they were talking about all of the newer medications that are out on the market. You’re probably familiar with Wegovy, Mounjaro, Ozempic. And are these medications silver bullets?
These medications are legit from a physiology standpoint, not only do they help suppress your appetite, they enhance your metabolism by treating more root causes such as insulin resistance. And a lot of patients recognize that. They say, I have a lot of food noise in my brain.
And that’s important for you to recognize because a lot of the times weight starts in the brain where it almost feels like an obsession, like a food consumption just through thought. And the cool part about it is that we are finding more and more scientific studies to show that there’s actually a brain and gut connection, multiple pathways, lots of different scientific processes that play a role. And these medications legitimately actually help treat both pathways.
The problem is, is that we don’t want patients to just take a medication and go on their way and lose weight, but you’re going to be on a medication for life. It is important to say that we want to use medication purely as assistance.
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Dr. Angela Tran D.O.