Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weight Loss as Preventative Medicine

We as Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists understand the importance of healthy weight.  At times the medical community feels uncomfortable with addressing obesity.  The Mayo Clinic's Nutrition Wise blog cited the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Alliance for Obesity.  

They found that nearly 90% of doctors feel it is their responsibility to help their patients lose weight.

Unfortunately, 72% feel that no one in their practice has been trained to deal with obesity.

When surveying obese patients, only 39% of obese adults were ever told by a doctor or health care professional that they were obese.  

90% were told to lose weight but weren't given any instruction on how to go about it. 

We as health professionals frequently neglect weight as a foundation for health.  Cancer, heart disease, respiratory illnesses are just a few conditions that are all exacerbated by excess weight. 

New research from the Mayo Clinic demonstrates the importance of weight loss in managing cardiovascular disease.  

In a recent article, Pack, et al. did a "systematic review and meta-analysis of the prognostic effects of weight loss in patients with Cardiovascular Disease (CAD)."  Studies taken into consideration covered 49 years of research from 1964 to 2013.  

The research team reviewed 1218 abstracts for a total of 35,335 patients with an average age of 64 years.  
Intentional weight loss in subjects is associated with lower clinical events.    

We just got through October and breast cancer awareness but how many times did you see people discuss weight?  Early detection is critical with breast cancer but what have we looked at regarding possible prevention?  

The Journal of Cancer Research, recently published: "Weight loss prevents obesity-associated basal-like breast cancer progression: Role of hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met."  That sounds complicated but researchers concluded that weight loss reversed "obesity-driven tumor aggressiveness promotion and blunted the obesity-responsive" tumor growth pathway while improving multiple metabolic and inflammatory risk factors. 

These are just three recent articles on the effects of weight and illness.  To learn more about talking about obesity visit:

Gina (Lesako) Volsko is a Columbus, Ohio based RD and the SCAN blog coordinator.  Contact her at to be a SCAN blogger.  You can find her blogging at Sport2Fork.