Obesity is a complex medical condition with far-reaching consequences for the affected individuals and society as a whole. Tackling this multifaceted issue requires a comprehensive and evidence-based approach guided by the key principles of obesity medicine. Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with over 25 years of experience in Forest Hills, NY, understands the importance of incorporating these principles into her treatment strategies to care for her patients facing weight management challenges effectively.

In this article, we will delve into the 7 key principles of obesity medicine that every healthcare professional and patient should know. These insights help shape successful treatment plans and provide a holistic view of the different factors that contribute to the development and persistence of obesity. Armed with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions and work alongside Dr. Hessel to achieve your weight loss and health goals.

1. Recognizing Obesity as a Chronic Disease

Obesity is a complex and chronic medical condition caused by an interplay of various genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. It is defined as an excessive amount of body fat that can negatively impact a person’s overall health. The American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) emphasizes recognizing obesity as a chronic disease that requires long-term management strategies. This perspective enables healthcare providers like Dr. Hessel to develop comprehensive, personalized plans for their patients to create sustainable improvements in their weight and overall well-being.

2. Comprehensive Patient Assessment

Before diving into obesity treatment, a thorough patient assessment is crucial to inform the healthcare provider about the various factors contributing to the patient’s condition. This evaluation typically includes obtaining a detailed medical and personal history, identifying potential genetic predispositions, examining lifestyle factors, and conducting a physical examination. Dr. Hessel goes above and beyond by offering advanced tools like InBody 570 body composition analysis to provide an in-depth understanding of her patients’ needs and inform each individual’s most effective weight management strategies.

3. Addressing the Multidisciplinary Nature of Obesity

Obesity medicine acknowledges that addressing this condition requires a multidisciplinary approach, given its multifactorial nature. Dr. Hessel embodies this understanding in her practice by incorporating various elements into her treatment plans, such as nutrition counseling, physical activity guidance, behavioral therapy, and, in some cases, pharmacotherapy. By addressing the root causes of obesity, Dr. Hessel ensures her patients receive the proper tools and support to manage their weight, improve their overall health, and maintain long-term success.

4. Emphasizing Nutrition Counseling

A key aspect of obesity medicine is acknowledging the essential role of nutrition in managing weight and overall health. Dr. Hessel provides personalized nutrition counseling to her patients, empowering them with the knowledge and tools to make healthier food choices and develop sustainable eating habits. This counseling may include education on proper portion control, meal planning, mindful eating, and understanding food labels. Focusing on nutrition as a cornerstone of weight management, Dr. Hessel helps her patients achieve lasting weight loss and improve their health from the inside out.

5. Encouraging Physical Activity

Incorporating regular physical activity is vital for managing obesity and promoting overall health. Dr. Hessel emphasizes the importance of exercise in her weight management plans by recommending personalized routines based on each patient’s unique needs and preferences. She considers factors such as the patient’s current fitness level, available time, and medical conditions that may affect their exercise capacity. Regular physical activity supports weight loss efforts, enhances cardiovascular health, boosts mental well-being, and strengthens the immune system.

6. Incorporating Behavioral Support

Behavioral support is another crucial piece in the obesity treatment puzzle. Many individuals experience emotional and behavioral challenges that contribute to weight gain, such as stress eating, lack of motivation, or low self-esteem. Dr. Hessel understands the importance of addressing these underlying issues and offers behavioral support to help her patients adopt healthier habits and overcome obstacles hindering their weight loss journey. This support can come in the form of one-on-one counseling, motivational interviewing, or referrals to specialists like psychologists or support groups, depending on each patient’s specific needs.

7. Considering Pharmacotherapy when Appropriate

Pharmacotherapy, or the use of weight management medications, may be an appropriate treatment option for some patients with overweight or obesity. These medications can be especially beneficial for those who have not experienced success with traditional weight loss methods or have medical conditions exacerbated by excess weight. Dr. Hessel carefully evaluates patients considering pharmacotherapy, ensuring they are well informed about the potential benefits, risks, and side effects associated with these medications, and chooses the best-suited medication for each patient’s unique situation.

Patient-Centered Care in Obesity Medicine

Ultimately, the goal of obesity medicine is to provide patient-centered care that addresses the multitude of factors that contribute to a person’s weight and overall well-being. Dr. Hessel’s practice embodies this patient-centered approach by offering comprehensive and personalized treatment plans for her patients that address all aspects of their lives, from nutrition and exercise to behavioral and emotional support. She understands that no one-size-fits-all solution exists regarding weight management and is committed to working closely with her patients to help them achieve lasting success.

Achieve Lasting Weight Loss Success with Dr. Hessel’s Holistic Approach

Understanding the 7 key principles of obesity medicine is essential for both healthcare providers and patients to pave the way for successful weight management and improved overall health. Dr. Hessel’s practice in Forest Hills, NY, embodies these principles by offering comprehensive and personalized care, incorporating nutrition counseling, physical activity guidance, behavioral support, advanced diagnostic tools like the InBody 570, and pharmacotherapy when appropriate.

If you’re struggling with weight loss and seeking expert support from a compassionate, experienced, and evidence-based provider, schedule a consultation with Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG today. Her personalized and holistic approach to obesity medicine ensures you receive the tools, guidance, and resources you need to achieve lasting success on your health journey and experience a better quality of life.