In 2013 the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease. Obesity is defined as an excess of adipose (fat) tissue and is generally diagnosed as a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30. Obesity is now understood as a complex disorder involving an interplay of genetic predisposition, physiologic abnormalities, and behavioral factors such as diet and physical activity. Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, with one third of the population in the United States considered obese and another third considered overweight. Excess weight contributes to over 100 medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, sleep apnea, sexual dysfunction, and multiple cancers.
Weight-related disorders pose one of the greatest challenges in our healthcare system. Obesity Medicine is a newly recognized medical specialty that concentrates on helping patients with weight management. Specialists in Obesity Medicine take a multidisciplinary approach to working with patients to achieve a healthier weight, combining dietary management, exercise, behavioral changes, medications and sometimes bariatric surgery. Exciting new therapies are becoming available to help treat this disorder, but no therapy to treat an unhealthy weight is effective unless patients and their healthcare team work together toward a common goal. Medical evidence demonstrates that even a 5% weight reduction will have significant health benefits. The new Weight Control Center at Fairfield County Medical Group takes a team approach to managing patients with obesity, providing evidence-based, compassionate care.