Bias and Stigma: Weight Discrimination in Today’s Healthcare And What You Can Do About it

What if you had a serious health condition that is common and treatable, but every healthcare provider you saw blamed you for having it?

And what if your condition put you at risk for serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, but your insurance wouldn’t cover the medical appointments, medications, or surgery needed to get it under control?

That’s what it’s like for millions of Americans with obesity when they visit their healthcare professionals seeking help.

Healthcare professionals don’t blame people for having cancer, or for recurrences, yet those with obesity are often blamed for their diagnosis and failed treatments.

As a medical weight loss specialist, I see how this discrimination hurts people in tragic ways. I want to share the facts about why it happens. And close with a few simple—but powerful—steps you can take to stop the discrimination and improve access to effective obesity treatment.

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Room for Possibilities

I’m excited to announce that Integrative Medical Weight Management has moved to a larger space, one that creates room for new possibilities!

My new office is located inside the Lake City Professional Center, an historic two story red brick building that was originally an elementary school.

I can easily imagine children running down the halls, squealing with delight, learning and growing with each passing day.  It couldn’t be more perfect!

I believe that healthcare offices should be warm, inviting, comfortable, and inspiring.



Golden angel wings greet all who enter, and serve as a reminder of our power to take flight.

The large paned windows bring the trees and sunlight into the rooms and allow us to glimpse beyond our self-imposed limitations.

The warm, colorful walls hug the rooms, creating a safe space to gestate health.

And did I mention the spacious parking lot and ground floor access? 

If you want to see it for yourself, drop by for a cup of tea or filtered water.  Rest in the firm, comfortable chairs in the waiting room, where you can gaze at the angel wings and expand your vision of you and your health.

 

Current Science vs. The Tainted History of Heart Healthy Nutrition How Common Advice is Wrong and Why You Should Know the Truth

Your first heart cells begin beating four weeks after conception and don’t stop until you take your last breath.

This coordinated effort happens 100,000 times a day, beat after beat, without rest.

Each time I lay my stethoscope over the heart’s pulsating chambers, I marvel at its faithful, steady beat.

As a medical weight loss specialist, my goal is to keep hearts ticking in top form. I share this goal with my patients, who cite heart health as one of their most powerful motivators for weight loss and overall health improvement.

While many factors influence heart health, none are talked about as much as food.

It’s for good reason: food is one of the most powerful substances that we put into our bodies. It can have both positive and negative effects on the heart.

I prescribe low carbohydrate eating because it has been proven to be optimal for heart health.

Low carbohydrate eating reduces or eliminates many of the risk factors for heart disease—type II diabetes, prediabetes, insulin resistance, elevated blood fats, elevated blood pressure, and inflammation. And it induces weight loss, which in itself is good for the heart.

It’s not just medical journals and professional presentations that prove these benefits—I see it every day in my clinical practice.

When patients reduce their intake of refined grains and added sugar and replace them with whole foods, I see reductions in:

  • Blood Sugar
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • LDL Particles
  • Blood Pressure
  • Inflammation
  • Fatty Liver Disease

When people add meat, eggs, cheese, butter, olives, and nuts to their diets, their waists get smaller and they get healthier.

I know this flies in the face of the low-fat dogma that’s been pushed since the 1970s.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that low-fat, high carbohydrate eating is anything but “heart healthy.”

Two prominent physicians, Robert Lustig and David Ludwig have called it “an experiment that failed.”

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The Weight Loss Science of Hope Triumphs of Health: The Victories that Thrill and Inspire Me - Part 2

When people lose weight and improve their health, a whole host of wonderful things happen.

Life improves.

Hope grows.

Research shows that losing just 5-10% of initial body weight can greatly improve metabolic, physical, and mental health.  For someone who weighs 200 pounds, a 10-20 pound loss moves them to higher ground.

Better health begins as the first pound is shed and amplifies with each subsequent pound.

Many strive to lose more, thinking it’s only worth it if they lose it all in one big, inspiring push. Then they wind up feeling overwhelmed…and that they’ve failed by not reaching their big goals.

Yet, losing just a few pounds positively improves your current and future health.

The 6 pounds you lose on your way to your big goal of 60 has a greater impact than you imagine.

As a medical weight loss specialist, it is a joy to see how much better people feel—and are—when they lose weight. Whether you have 5-10 pounds to lose or more, health always improves with weight loss. And the risk of developing new conditions declines.

And if the weight loss is maintained, the benefits continue—indefinitely.

FB-weight-loss-science-of-hope-01

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Make Courageous Change One Step at a Time Triumphs of Health: The Victories that Thrill and Inspire Me - Part I

What thrills me most about my work is seeing people transform their lives in remarkable ways.

Not sudden, giant swoops that might land them on the cover of a magazine, but in steady, powerful steps that take them further into health.

They wrestle with discouragement and internal voices urging them to quit…

But they don’t.

No matter how badly things go, they get up the next day and start again, with a desire for health tugging at their souls.

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Upcoming Engagements:
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2018 National Conference, June 26th- July 1st, in Denver, CO
    On June 26th, I will be presenting my abstract, Using the Edmonton Obesity Staging System To Guide Treatment Decisions. 
    On June 29th, I will co-present a four hour workshop:  Obesity Management:  Practice Management & Leadership for Nurse Practitioners.
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