Gaining weight and becoming obese or morbidly obese has created an epidemic not only in the United States, but also internationally. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than two thirds of the U.S. population are overweight, and nearly one third are obese or morbidly obese.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 to 39. Morbid obesity begins at a body mass index of 40. It has been shown that the higher the body mass index (BMI), the greater the risk for associated illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and others. When morbidly obese individuals have one or more of the above diseases, their risk for death increases, and quality of life is severely diminished.

The management of obesity involves medical and, if applicable, surgical interventions. Medical weight management combines diet, exercise and behavioral therapy and, if indicated, pharmacotherapy. At the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, our Medical Weight Loss team evaluate overweight or obese individuals for weight management with a thorough physical exam, which may require blood work and other diagnostic tools. The patient’s diet and exercise history is an important part of the medical assessment and is reviewed during this visit.

Dietitians in the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute work hand in hand with our team to ensure optimal care. Psychologists also help to maximize behavioral therapy. Our team may also utilize the expertise of Cleveland Clinic exercise physiologists to create an individualized exercise program for their patients, with stress testing included.

Patients are monitored every 4 weeks by the physician and dietitian. Medication, such as appetite suppressants can be prescribed to help with weight loss, as part of the treatment plan. Patients who are 100 lbs or more overweight are generally referred for surgical weight management. Our team continue to be involved in the surgical part of the process by assisting patients with weight loss prior to surgery. They also manage patients post-operatively to ensure adequate weight loss, perform medication adjustments when associated illnesses begin to improve, and prevent nutritional deficiencies or other complications which could occur without frequent follow-up appointments.

Meet our medical weight loss team