Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between being overweight and being obese?

Determining whether someone is overweight or obese is often determined by assessing a person’s body mass index (BMI), which is a ratio between weight and height. If a patient’s BMI falls between 25 and 29.9,  it is considered to be overweight. If the BMI is 30 or higher,  the patient is considered  to be obese. There are other measurements and scales that are used to determine risk for weight related health risks such as waist circumference, percent of body fat, ethic background and undergoing medical conditions.

What is the main cause of obesity?

The cause of obesity is defined by many factors. Some of those factors include genetics, cultural factors, environmental factors, behavioral factors, sleep disruptions, metabolic medical conditions, medications, not getting enough physical activity or increased food intake.

Why is obesity a growing problem?

Obesity is becoming a world-wide pandemic because of changes in the way we live. Many of our behaviors, jobs and activities have become less physically demanding and the time assigned for physical activity and sleep has been minimized. For example, we tend to drive more and walk less. Also we spend many more hours sitting in front of screens than ever before. In addition, our habits and beliefs around food have also changed.

What is the best way to lose weight?

Slow and steady wins the marathon when it comes down to weight loss. Weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week while pursuing a supervised weight loss program that includes goal oriented physical activity, specific nutritional modifications, medication support and behavioral interventions is in most cases advised. In order to achieve a long term weight loss, it needs to be sustainable and not too restrictive. Weight loss plan strategies ultimately need to alter the balance between food intake and calories burned. The implementation of behavioral modifications will promote changes in behaviors that ultimately influence body weight and the motivation to continue to pursue weight loss.

How much weight will i lose?

Every patient responds differently to a weight loss program. It is important to match the patient to the right plan. It is well proven that a 5-10 % weight loss over 3 to 6 months is a reasonable starting point. A successful program combines an adequate nutrition plan, a goal-specific physical activity plan and behavioral modifications. It is important to stress that when pursuing weight loss, there is no quick fix.

What treatment options are usually covered or not covered by health insurance?

The coverage and individual costs of weight management programs vary depending on the services offered. Health insurance coverage varies but services are typically covered to some extent, especially if you have additional obesity-related health conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid disorders or type 2 diabetes. Most eligible PPO plans cover an approximate average of 60% of the weight loss program cost. In most cases, a registered dietitian consultation or meal supplements are not covered by insurance.

We can run your insurance to determine your eligibility for coverage.

Am I a candidate for bariatric surgery?

A medical provider may consider weight loss surgery if your body mass index (BMI) is above 35 with risk factors, or about 40 with no risk factors. Doctors also take into consideration your medical history and your attempts to lose weight. In most cases, non-surgical weight loss is recommended prior to surgery to reduce the risk of any weight related surgical intervention.

Feel free to ask the doctor during your visit.