We’ve all had a similar thought as we cruise down the snack aisle in the grocery store: If I buy low-fat cookies, chips and crackers, I can eat more of them. But that mentality may not serve you in the end.
A new year often brings a renewed sense of vigor to our lives. Building healthier habits (and perhaps breaking not-so-healthy old ones) tend to be first on people’s minds. In fact, many of your patients may be asking how they can more effectively address their body weight challenges and better adhere to healthy lifestyle choices. And after living through two years of a global pandemic, many patients are finding it harder than ever to achieve or maintain the healthiest versions of themselves.
“It’s so easy to lose ourselves in the day-to-day,” said Rebecca Fraid, D.O., a family medicine physician and obesity medicine fellow with Inspira Health’s Bariatric Surgery program. “Which is why it’s critical for providers to talk to patients about ways they can better balance work and family life responsibilities with their own self-care.”
For several years, Inspira’s Bariatric Services program has offered South Jersey patients real solutions to their weight management struggles. But surgery is not a universal option for all people struggling to manage their body weight. With the introduction of Dr. Fraid’s Medical Weight Management program, Inspira is now able to offer high-quality, effective and safe solutions to patients who don’t meet the requirements for surgery—opening the door to success to many more people.
“Obesity Medicine and Medical Weight Management are solutions for patients who are struggling with their weight for a number of different reasons,” said Dr. Fraid. “Weight issues can stem from a multitude of factors, such as a significant life event, an illness, a new medication or poor stress management. It’s not a one-size-fits-all program, which is why it’s important for me to get to know each patient, understand the root causes of their struggle and use that as the basis for how we build their individual care plan.”
Dr. Fraid sees a spectrum of patient concerns, such as:
- Parents who have lost themselves caring for their family
- People who don’t meet the BMI and comorbidity requirements for bariatric surgery
- People preparing for a procedure (like a knee or hip replacement), who would benefit from losing weight prior to surgery
- People struggling to get pregnant or dealing with hormone fluctuations
- People experiencing weight gain from medication
- People with a family history of disease, and a desire to be proactive in addressing their own health
- People preparing for or recovering from bariatric surgery
The goal of the Medical Weight Management program is to treat the whole patient, which means treatment plans can vary greatly. In addition to being a family medicine physician and working closely with Inspira’s Bariatric Services team, Dr. Fraid works in conjunction with the patient’s primary provider as well as an interdisciplinary team of specialists including nutrition specialists, physical therapists, behavioral health specialists, certified sleep specialists, pulmonologists, cardiologists and more.
As you and your patients head into 2022, help those struggling with managing their weight by having an honest conversation with them. Dr. Fraid suggests asking three questions:
- How long have you been struggling with your weight?
- Do you eat breakfast?
- How often do you eat throughout the day?
“Fully grasping their lifestyle and their frequency of eating is critical to understanding if Medical Weight Management is right for your patient,” said Dr. Fraid. “Taking the time to understand your patient’s day-to-day will help you set them up for success with realistic goals and lifestyle adjustments. And when your patient is ready for life-changing results, we’re here to help.”
To learn more or to refer a patient to Dr. Fraid’s Medical Weight Management program, call the Inspira Bariatric Surgery office in Mullica Hill at (856) 508-3706.