Weight Management is a field of medicine that deals with the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of obesity. The weight management team is a health-promoting, multidisciplinary team comprised of Internists, Endocrinologists, Gastroenterologists, Bariatric surgeons, Nutritionists, Physical therapists, and others who work together to help an individual obtain an ideal weight.
Obesity is becoming a great pandemic especially in the Western world. With unhealthy diet and unhealthy lifestyle practices, more and more people are developing obesity. Along with obesity are many complications such as heart disease, stroke, endocrine problems such as diabetes, arthritis, infertility, and others. Weight management centers are set up to help obese individuals control their weight and prevent the possible complications of obesity.
Many tools or programs are available in weight management centers to help obese individuals. These include:
- Nutritional counselling—dieting plays the biggest role in weight management. Most cases of obesity can be managed simply by modifying an individual’s diet. Weight management centers have clinical nutritionists that can guide an individual in choosing the right amount and the right type of food. The clinical nutritionist can calculate the required daily caloric intake of an individual and design a diet based on that number.
- Exercise programs—dieting programs are best coupled with physical activity. Regular exercise can burn the extra calories and can help improve an individual’s cardiac activity. It is also a good suppressor of appetite, and it helps in maintaining the ideal body weight and prevent relapse into obesity.
- Bariatric procedures—in cases where conservative management for obesity is unsuccessful, bariatric procedures can be offered. These procedures range from the lesser invasive endoscopic procedures to the more invasive surgical procedures. Bariatric procedures are procedures that modify the size of the stomach such that it accommodates less food and gives the individual an earlier sensation of satiety. Examples of bariatric procedures are gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass surgery.
The cause of obesity can vary from one individual to another. The metabolism of one person can be different from another. Therefore, it is important that the management of obesity be done in an individualized manner. Diet programs and exercise regimen should be tailored according to the needs of a particular patient. This is what the multidisciplinary Weight Management team is all about.