Is Obesity a Disease? It Is – And We’re Treating It

    Medical examination: doctor measures overweight

    Obesity is recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association, but many still resist that classification. Among other points, critics argue that classifying obesity this way will encourage people to think of medications and surgery as the only “cures.”

    The physicians at Lakeland Comprehensive Weight Loss Center know that obesity is a disease but that hasn’t narrowed their vision of treatment. Instead, it’s encouraged them to create a program that offers varied and effective treatment options for patients with a range of concerns, goals and needs.

    Here are some of the services Lakeland Health has developed to respond to the challenge of obesity.

    Medical Weight Loss - The LEAN Program

    The Lifestyle Enhancement through Activity and Nutrition (LEAN) program is designed to give you the individualized, professional support you need to reach your weight loss goals.

    Participants have regular appointments with a team of health experts including a psychologist, certified personal trainer, registered dietitian, and nurse practitioner. You’ll learn about nutrition, eating habits, exercise and well-being in a small group setting where you can find support from other participants and still get the individualized advice you need.

    Personalized Nutrition Counseling

    A registered dietician will work with you to assess your individual circumstances and create a custom nutrition program. Beyond helping facilitate weight loss, nutritional counseling can help combat diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypoglycemia, and vitamin deficiencies.

    Surgery and Support

    Bariatric surgery requires careful consideration but in the right circumstances, it can improve a patient’s quality of life in a number of different ways.

    At Lakeland Health Comprehensive Weight Loss Center, patients interested in bariatric surgery have an initial consultation and a series of shared medical appointments over a six month period to provide weight loss education and medical care. These appointments start before the surgery and continue afterward to help patients plan, execute and maintain the lifestyle changes that will help them achieve overall wellness.

    For the surgery itself, Lakeland physicians are specially trained to use the da Vinci surgical system: a robotic system that allows surgeons to conduct even complex procedures through tiny incisions. Patients who undergo this type of minimally-invasive surgery may enjoy faster recovery, less pain, minimal scarring, and reduced risk of infection or other complications.

    By recognizing obesity as a disease, the physicians at Lakeland Health empower those struggling with their weight to seek out the support they need to find success. To learn more about how we can help you lose weight, find wellness, and live your life to the fullest, visit

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