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New Partnership Provides Medical Route to a Healthier Lifestyle

West Michigan residents who have resolved to lose weight in 2019 have a new ally in their quest for a healthier life.

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health is collaborating with Kentwood-based Grand Health Partners to offer a physician-monitored Weight Management Program – a non-surgical, personalized and patient-centered approach to healthy, sustained weight loss.

“Nobody knows better how your weight affects your health – and how your health affects your weight – than your doctor,” said Dr. Rakesh Pai, President of the Medical Group and Chief Population Health Officer, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health. “By teaming with Grand Health Partners, we can work with patients to reach informed decisions about weight loss options.”

The Weight Management Program brings together dieticians, physical therapists and occupational therapists for an approach based on medical science. If patients, in consultation with their doctor, decide surgery is the best option, Grand Health Partners also is the largest provider of bariatric surgery in Michigan.

While resolutions to drop pounds abound this time of year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says a good place to start is by talking with your health care provider. A doctor can help set goals and discuss all the factors that influence a patient’s weight. Numerous medical groups, including the American Medical Association, now recognize obesity as a chronic progressive disease influenced by multiple factors, including genetics, metabolism, behavior, environment and economic status.

Nearly 40 percent of Americans are considered obese, defined as a body mass index (a ratio of height and weight) of 30 or higher. For example, a person 5-foot, 8 inches tall weighing 197 pounds would fall into the obese range. Even a BMI as low as 25 is considered overweight.

Obesity is a leading contributor to premature death and is associated with multiple diseases, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and several types of cancer. The good news is, losing even a small amount of weight provides almost immediate benefits. The CDC calculates that losing 5 to 10 percent of total body weight can result in better blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.

“That’s one of the reasons you step on the scale every time you visit your doctor,” said Pai. “Maintaining a healthy weight is important to your health, and we want to help you get there.”

For information about the Weight Management Program, talk to your Metro Health physician or click here.