Identifying Obesity In Your Patients

Ten or twelve years ago National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company employed an alternative futures company to make their prediction as to where the chiropractic profession should move toward the future.

Two significant recommendations they made were to consider vitamin counseling and weight management. The primary reason these recommendations were made was that there will be a need, and the public demand will continue to grow. This was not exactly what we wanted to hear as practicing chiropractors.

However, their predictions have certainly come true. More and more people are concerned that the foods we are eating are not meeting our nutritional needs and the consequence of the dilemma is that Americans are getting fatter by the minute.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently published information stating that 66% of Americans are overweight and 30% of that number are obese. The complications of being overweight are many, and they are often associated with life threatening diseases like cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and cancer. Not to mention carrying extra weight causes osteoarthritis of the spine, hips, knees and feet.

Of even greater concern are the children’s obesity issues. Children age 12 are presenting themselves to health care providers with type II diabetes. The fundamental cause is from poor nutritional habits and lack of exercise. Food addiction is a root cause of most of their problems from too many sugars, refined carbohydrates and not enough whole food.

Since Michele Obama has taken on this project and with her influence, more and more hospitals, medical centers and public schools are making weight management a priority.

From a recent National survey, about 17% of children ages 2–19 are obese. It was stated that children born in the year 2000 or later could suffer from Diabetes due to obesity–related issues at a cost of $147 billion annually.

The obesity issue is a healthcare concern for all Healthcare providers, including Natural Healthcare Providers. Approximately 66% of our patients need help with weight management. Many of them seek out our help because of complications of carrying too much weight. If it is our primary goal to get to the cause of health issues rather than just treating symptoms, dealing with weight problems should be our responsibility. 

Why are so many people today overweight? We, of course, eat too much, and we eat too much of the wrong things. We, as a whole, do not get enough exercise or sleep and so many have such poor digestive functions. Drugs for indigestion are the biggest sellers in America.

The most accurate and acceptable method of measuring your ideal weight is the Body Mass Index (BMI). This was established by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. In the New England Journal of Medicine it was reported, “The BMI is one of the primary risk factors for disease and death, as a person’s BMI increases the risk of many diseases increases.”

The physiology of the body’s digestive system is complex but fundamentally simple. We need to effectively digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These are, in turn, broken down into usable nutrients by the body and used to support all systems of the body.

If we eat too much protein that our bodies can’t break down, or eat excessive refined carbohydrates or fats that are indigestible, nutrients aren’t broken down and assimilated. They become “foreign” to the body or are “toxic” and need to be removed. The body’s natural mechanism is first to remove those “toxic” products, or it will store them in the tissues or fat of the body. With indigestion being the most common of American human ailments, we will need more fat storage and the downward cycle begins.

People eat wrong, take something for symptom relief for indigestion, the body stores more toxins in the body’s fats and the person keeps gaining weight. The solution should begin with eating the right foods, smaller portions combined with exercise and lifestyle changes. The benefit of that process is the patient’s weight will drop, but the real bonus will be they will become healthier.

To effectively make this an added service, it is necessary to set aside time to present a workshop on the topic of Natural Weight Loss. It can be over the lunch hour or in the evening, but the patients need to be educated on a designed and tested formula presented by their Doctor. doctor has to “practice what they preach.” So, if you need to lose weight, exercise more and improve your personal image, get started. The old adage of “your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear a word you’re saying,” holds true as a healthcare authority. There are several well designed weight loss/purification programs available; there is no need to re-invent the wheel or you can create a design for your own program.

A patient workshop needs to be encouraging and not judgmental. People will come to your workshops if your desire is to be of help with weight loss and support those that support you. That is why it is most effective with your existing patients rather than trying to market to the outside public.

To encourage patients to attend the workshops in our office, we make certain to educate our staff as to our purpose and intent. We set a date, encourage patients to attend by posting the schedule and explain that we want to share a Natural Weight Loss method that is safe and effective. It is most important that the doctor and the staff have personally experienced the program.

The workshops should not exceed 1 (one) hour and using a power point for the program is always most effective. At the end of the program explanation, an offer should be made allowing for a cost savings to get them to commit that evening. Any kind of payment, either full payment or a deposit, will be enough to get them started. In my clinic we offer a 21 day program with prior testing to include a blood fat profile, BMI, body vitals and measurements. We reevaluate the patient at the end of the program to have objective evidence of not only weight loss, but improved body physiology.

A high percentage of your practice population would like to lose some extra weight. It is a great opportunity to add this needed and valued service. As more of your patients experience success in improving their health, and lose weight, this service will become a great practice builder.

Adding a natural weight loss program in our Clinic has been one of the best natural healthcare benefits we can offer our patients. I would like to encourage my colleagues to give considerable thought to adding weight loss to their practice because we are, to our patients, their Primary Natural Healthcare Provider providing wellness focused, patient centered, outcome driven, whole person healthcare.

Dr. James P. Powell graduated from National College of Chiropractic in 1970 and is celebrating 40 years in practice. He practices with son James D. Powell, D.C., sons-in-law Walter B. Null, D.C., Daniel P. Smith, D.C., and youngest son Robert D. Powell, N.D.

Dr. Powell has served as District II representative of the FCLB, he served 8 years on the Ohio Chiropractic Board, 4 years as its President. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Chiropractic College.

He lives in Canton, Ohio, with his wife of 44 years, Donna. They have four grown children and thirteen grandchildren.

Dr. Powell currently serves as a consultant for Standard Process.


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