Battling Obesity

With costs to treat obesity-related illnesses soaring and the outlook grim for the nation's children, forward-looking physicians see a bright future for bariatrics.

By Cindy Murphy McMahon | 411 | July/August 2005


Sally was in her late 40s and moved slowly as she walked into her physician’s office. Her gait was more like a waddle as she shifted her weight back and forth with each step. She was tired beyond her years, and most of all, she was disgusted. She was disgusted with herself for weighing more than 300 pounds, and she was angry with the medical community. Taking several medications for hypertension, diabetes type 2, a lipid disorder, and osteoarthritis, Sally was bordering on desperation.

This visit to a physician was different, however. She was seeing a bariatrician, a physician who specializes in the treatment of obesity. Working with her doctor, Peter Vash, MD, of Los Angeles, within six weeks Sally was able to reduce her hypertension medications by 50 percent, eliminate one of the diabetes meds, and reduce her osteoarthritis prescription, all the while sleeping better and walking easier.

“Her quality of life dramatically improved,” Vash says of the woman he calls a typical bariatric medicine patient. “She began to have an outward look of optimism and hope.” more »