MDVIP Survey Reveals Key Insight About Weight Loss

Dr. Andrea Klemes, Chief Medical Officer MDVIP
By Dr. Andrea Klemes , MDVIP
July 2, 2018
Primary care doctor giving weight loss advice

Just about all of us have embarked on a weight loss journey at some point in our lives. In fact, more than 80 percent of Americans currently report being over their ideal weight in a new MDVIP survey. The good news is that many people recognize the need to better manage their weight and are taking steps in the right direction.

The MDVIP survey, which included a Fat IQ quiz, also revealed a troubling truth: Most Americans don’t know or understand basic facts about diet and nutrition, even though 85 percent of those surveyed believe they have the knowledge to eat right. In fact, a majority of respondents scored a failing grade on the Fat IQ quiz.

>> Take Our Fat IQ Quiz <<

A couple of examples of the dietary knowledge gap:

  • 85 percent of Americans either underestimate or don’t know how many calories they generally need to burn to lose a pound of weight. (The answer is 3,500.)
  • Only 1 in 5 Americans correctly believe that all fats, regardless of the type, have the same number of calories per gram.

Given that excess weight is linked to an increased risk of numerous and sometimes preventable health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and several types of cancer, there is a clear need to improve Americans’ knowledge of diet and exercise.

A primary care doctor can help you with weight loss and managementHowever, obesity is a complex health problem with numerous possible causes, not just poor food choices and/or a sedentary lifestyle. For example, my medical specialty, endocrinology, addresses problems with metabolism. Stress, insomnia, medications and a family history of obesity are other common factors in obesity. This is why one-size-fits-all diets often don’t work long-term.

On the other hand, your primary care doctor can be a crucial partner in helping you develop and stick to a weight loss strategy based on your needs, your body and your life. These are a few of many reasons to work with your primary care provider on improving your weight, and therefore your health.

1. Your doctor knows your medical issues. Thyroid problems and polycystic ovary syndrome can cause weight gain. Some medications are more strongly associated with weight gain than others. Aching joints are a barrier to exercise. In each of these cases, a medical intervention can help you lose weight before you even have to make a single change to your diet.

2. Your primary care doctor knows your family health history. If you have a family history of hypertensive heart disease, and your own blood pressure is starting to creep up, your doctor may recommend a specific, low-sodium diet. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, your doctor may suggest that you avoid processed meats. In both examples, you’re getting advice to lower your disease risk, but in doing so, you may also shed pounds.

3. You can tell your doctor things you won’t tell others. Alcohol or tobacco use, binge eating, night eating and emotional health issues can all play important roles in weight. But you may not be comfortable bringing them up with a diet buddy, personal trainer or dietician. When you see your primary care doctor, it’s a judgment-free zone. You can be honest about these sorts of behaviors and get the help you really need.

4. You can get actionable help. When you try to diet on your own, you may be successful for a while, but life invariably presents obstacles that can test your will. That’s when your doctor’s support can be especially helpful. Whether you’re living with caregiver stress, a hectic travel schedule, or have no time to cook, your primary care physician can help you find solutions that keep you on track to achieve your weight and health goals.

Want to find out your Fat IQ? You can take the Fat IQ quiz here.



About the Author
Dr. Andrea Klemes, Chief Medical Officer MDVIP
Dr. Andrea Klemes, MDVIP

Dr. Andrea Klemes is the Chief Medical Officer of MDVIP. She also serves as the executive and organizational leader of MDVIP’s Medical Advisory Board that supports quality and innovation in the delivery of the healthcare model drawing expertise from the affiliated physicians. Dr. Klemes oversees MDVIP’s impressive outcomes data and research including hospital utilization and readmission statistics, quality of disease management in the MDVIP network and the ability to identify high-risk patients and intervene early. She is instrumental in the adoption of the Electronic Health Record use in MDVIP-affiliated practices and the creation of the data warehouse. Dr. Klemes is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology and a fellow of the American College of Endocrinology. Dr. Klemes received her medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed an internal medicine residency at Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan, New York and an Endocrine and Metabolism Fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Prior to joining MDVIP, Dr. Klemes worked at Procter & Gamble in the areas of personal healthcare, women’s health and digestive wellness and served as North American Medical Director for bone health. She spent 10 years in private practice specializing in endocrinology and metabolism in Tallahassee, Florida. In addition, Dr. Klemes held leadership roles with the American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association and as Medical Director of the Diabetes Center in Tallahassee and Panama City, Florida, as well as Chief of the Department of Medicine at Tallahassee Community Hospital. She has been a consultant and frequent lecturer and has completed broad clinical research in diabetes and osteoporosis and published extensively.

View All Posts By Dr. Andrea Klemes
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