More than 42% of Americans are obese, according to data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Every one of those individuals is at increased risks of multiple serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers, and dementia.
While healthy habits are the key to reversing obesity, research shows many Americans aren’t taking critical steps to manage their weight and reduce related health risks. According to one recent survey, while nearly three-quarters of Americans report being concerned about their own weight problems, only 43% have taken steps to manage their weight or lose weight.
That disconnect is a little hard to explain, but it does underscore the need to increase understanding about obesity and its very real threats. It also emphasizes how important it is to empower and motivate people to make meaningful changes that can improve their health for the rest of their lives.
As a leading primary care practice with three convenient locations in San Pedro, California, Harbor Community Health Centers helps patients learn specific steps they can take to finally lose those extra pounds and enjoy better overall health and wellness. Here’s what our team wants you to know about obesity and what you can do to drop the weight and improve your health now and in the future.
If you’re overweight, you’ve probably heard it more than once from well-meaning friends and family members: If you want to lose weight, all you have to do is exercise and eat less. The fact is, obesity is complex, and losing weight is complex, too. That's why so many diets fail — and why having a healthcare provider in your corner is so important.
Yes, poor dietary choices, overeating, and not exercising can all play roles in gaining weight and problems losing those pounds, too. But that’s just part of the story. Other factors, like underlying medical problems, nutritional deficiencies, lifestyle factors, poor sleep habits, stress, and even your genetics can all play a role.
In order to combat obesity successfully, you need a plan that focuses on all your individual factors instead of a general plan based on broad concepts of weight loss. You also need ongoing support to stay motivated and to make subtle changes that can help you break through plateaus.
Medical support for your weight-loss goals
If you need to lose weight, working with our team is the first step on a successful journey. We begin by reviewing your health history, performing a physical exam, ordering lab tests, and considering your lifestyle factors to determine what’s causing your weight gain, as well as what obstacles are interfering with your attempts to lose weight.
Then, we work side by side with you to establish healthy and realistic goals and develop a weight-management plan focused squarely on your unique needs. Most plans include a combination of:
- Dietary changes
- Healthy exercise and daily movement
- Patient education
- Dietary supplements
- Weight-loss medications
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Stress management activities
- Treatment for underlying medical issues or nutritional deficiencies
Frequent check-ins allow us to “tweak” your weight-management plan to help you stay on track and moving toward your goals.
Our team also provides important emotional support aimed at helping you avoid feelings of anxiety or failure at small setbacks along the way. Ongoing visits help us tailor your plan as your life changes and new potential obstacles emerge.
And of course, as a primary care practice, we can help you manage underlying issues, like diabetes or thyroid disorders, and we provide screenings for heart disease and other medical problems that become more common with obesity.
Weight management tailored to your lifestyle
People lose weight in different ways, and having a custom weight-management plan is essential for making sure you lose weight successfully and keep it off over time. To learn how we can help you manage your weight, call 310-547-0202 to schedule an appointment with the team at Harbor Community Health Centers today.