Dr. Christy Kirkendol Watson

Are Weight Loss Pills Safe?

Historically, weight loss medications have gotten really bad reputation. Many people remember Fen-Phen and it turned out to cause valvular problems so it was taken off the market. Only Fenfluramine was removed because Phentermine actually has been around for a very long time and is a very effective appetite suppressant. However because of the bad reputation the medication received so many years ago, doctors have been reluctant to use the medication to help people lose weight.

It’s really an unfortunate thing that has happened in the weight loss world in general. People really stop using the medication and many doctors didn’t treat obesity, even then, as a chronic medical condition. Obesity was related to laziness or lack of willpower.

Roughly two years ago, a weight loss medication was approved for the first time in 20 years. This marked a change in the tide to address overweight and obesity as a chronic medical condition. That medication is now in year three of trials with patients using it continuously.

No different then you might take blood pressure medicine for life or asthma medication for life, the people that are staying on the medication are doing better at maintaining their weight loss than when they are taken off the medication. That new medication actually opened the door for many more. In this last year, there have now been four medications that have been approved for weight loss and others coming down the pipeline.

Weight loss medications really are no different then treating any other medical conditions with medications. As physicians we do that all the time. If somebody’s cholesterol is elevated, we give them a cholesterol pill. If they have high blood pressure, we give them high blood pressure pill.

While I don’t believe that there is one magic pill to treat obesity and weight loss, the medications can be very, very useful in helping someone address a particular aspect that seems to be complicating their weight loss journey. For some people it’s hunger. For some people it’s cravings. For some people it’s the enjoyment of food, binge eating or nighttime eating. The medications that are out can be used for specific reasons.

Our approach has been dietary first and behavioral but we don’t hesitate to use those medications when they need to be used. Again, just like treating any other medical condition and the reason we do that is it isn’t just about losing weight, we have to address all of the factors that go into someone’s weight. There is the psychological aspect. There is the emotional aspect. There is the behavioral aspect. All of these things go into causing someone to gain weight and have trouble losing weight. We have to make sure we use all the tools we have to treat this very complex medical condition.

Dr. Christy Kirkendol Watson

Why Is Childhood Obesity Such A Problem?

The kids that we are seeing coming in are bigger for sure than they were 10 years ago and their composition has completely changed. Kids are carrying significantly more percent body fat and less skeletal muscle mass than they should be because they are not eating a protein based diet.

And kids are no different than typical Americans who are eating a third of the protein they need and five times more carbohydrates than they need. So for the person who already has a predisposition for being overweight or obesity – that is happening sooner. Their threshold is already low. If both parents are obese, there is an 80 percent chance that child is also going to become obese. Many times these kids are already predisposed to being overweight and obese. Because kids are getting exposed to higher amounts of calories and sugar earlier in life, they are developing obesity earlier than they would have even 10 or 15 years ago.

What Does Organic Really Mean?

You hear the term “organic” used often but what does it really mean? Dr. Christy breaks down this trend.

Another trend that we see out there is the organic trend. Products are being labeled as organic. It draws people to it just by saying that it’s organic but does anyone really know what organic means?

If you actually look at what”organic means, I can assure you it doesn’t mean what you think it does. It doesn’t mean that it’s cage-free or even hormone free. It means it has to pass certain standards in the food industry. There are places that basically will get told the inspectors are coming. The inspectors go to the same farm every time and that particular place will be certified organic but all of the products are coming from the entire region – it’s not just that one farm.

So there’s no regulation really on what organic means when you’re talking about whole foods or the clean eating concept. The only way to really know what you’re getting is to know your farmer, know the person who is actually growing the the beef or the chickens or growing the vegetables in their garden in their back yard quite honestly. Anything beyond that really isn’t any guarantee of what organic means.

Why Dr. Christy Is So Passionate About Helping People Losing Weight

Watch and learn why Dr. Christy Kirkendol Watson, practice leader, is so passionate about helping people enjoy life in their bodies.

I’ve had a lifelong interest in wellness, fitness and nutrition. I was an athlete all of my life. When I went to medical school, I actually wanted to go into wellness or preventive medicine and interestingly enough we really aren’t taught that in medical school or residency. We’re very, very good at taking care of sick patients but nobody really tells us how to take care of healthy patients who are looking to improve their health.

I got absolutely no training in diet, nutrition or fitness in medical school or residency. We saw people that suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure and we knew that their weight was a problem. We would just tell them, “Well, you need to lose some weight…that’ll help” or we would say, “Eat less and exercise more.” But we didn’t have the tools to help them.

It was only after I continued my quest for that type of knowledge that I discovered a professional society called the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and went to one of their meetings. I found myself surrounded by weight loss doctors – who had been doing this long before their time and for me it was like coming home.

I knew it was my calling. It was the first time anyone had finally been able to explain to me all of the things that I had seen in my years of my practicing medicine – there had to be something different about people that suffered from being overweight and obesity. You can’t just tell me one person has the same metabolism as someone else. During the meeting, this doctor throws a slide up and it was like Bio Chemistry 101 in medical school showing the complexities of this disease and what it takes to treat it. That was really the first step in making the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine a reality.

Meet Ashley: She’s Lost 80 Pounds At The LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine

Meet Ashley: She’s lost 80 pounds at the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine! Hear her inspirational story…

What Is The LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine’s Approach To Obesity?

Watch what Dr. Christy Kirkendol Watson, practice leader has to say about the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine’s approach to obesity.

We approach being overweight and obesity as a medical condition. It truly is a chronic medical condition. To us, it’s no different then treating high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes. We have to use all of the tools that we have in-order to get someone’s disease under control. We’re not going to judge you. We’re not the people that are going to chastise you because you gained a few pounds when you went on vacation.

Our job is to help you understand why this happens – maybe avoid it in the future and learn that it isn’t because you’re a bad person or because you don’t have enough willpower. We understand it’s the nature of the condition and our job is to treat that – just like any other condition.