State of Obesity | Wegovy, keto, and the effects of age on weight loss

Host: Dr. Wickham Simonds
Episode 1

Episode Summary

The State of Obesity is a new series focused on educating people and answering questions about obesity.

Dr. Simonds describes the causes and consequences of obesity, especially in the US. In addition, he answers questions about newer weight loss medications. Michelle Kennedy, NP-C, his co-host from the Simonds AMA, is joined by one of their patients who shares his weight loss story.

Top Takeaways

  • “There’s not a singular root cause of obesity; it’s a complex problem.”
    – [Dr. Wickham Simonds]
  • “That commitment is not something you switch on, and it’s easy. It’s every day for the rest of your life.”
    – [Michelle Kennedy, NP-C]
  • “Some of the health problems that we know of in America today stem from this issue of obesity, and when we deal with it, the health problems go into remission.”
    – [Dr. Wickham Simonds]
  • “Obesity affects 3 out of 4 people in the US essentially.”
    – [Dr. Wickham Simonds]
  • “All shapes and sizes are normal; the question is whether you’re healthy.”
    – [Dr. Wickham Simonds]
  • “You can actually be doing damage to your child by eating a bunch of junk food, for example, when you’re pregnant.”
    – [Dr. Wickham Simonds]

Episode Highlights

  • [02:16] What is obesity?
  • [04:34] How many people die from obesity each year?
  • [05:56] What is the root cause of obesity in America?
  • [07:33] What is the medical community doing about obesity?
  • [11:25] Is obesity reversible?
  • [12:42] Meet today’s guest, Michelle Kennedy.
  • [13:48] Tim shares his story.
  • [16:37] How Tim managed the fear of facing judgment at his weight loss consultation?
  • [17:08] What would your advice be to people afraid of judgment?
  • [26:49] Recently, in the headlines, I saw that lucky Charms are healthier than eating a stake; is this true, and how can this be?
  • [32:30] If you have time,
  • [34:42] Talk about the use of Ozempic today and its impact on the treatment of obesity.
  • [41:12] Will you work with a compounding pharmacy for Ozempic?
  • [42:20] You’ve seen the support for the Keto lifestyle. Why do you think it works, and why does this diet method work for some and not all?
  • [45:24] Are genetics significant in weight, and if so, how can someone change that for their children?
  • [50:37] What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting with the casual Keto lifestyle?
  • [51:50] Depression drives most of my failure with weight loss. Should I consider reevaluating my medication?
  • [56:02] Isn’t age a significant reason for weight gain? Can you avoid gaining weight after a certain age?

Episode Notes

Rather than describe obesity as just weight gain, it is necessary to understand that obesity is a chronic disease process. Obesity can have two main features:

  • Excess body fat with metabolic dysfunction, including diabetes, lipid problems, or hypertension
  • Physical impacts of excess weight on the body

It is impossible to ascertain the exact number of people who die due to obesity because it is the root cause of many illnesses that result in premature death.

However, there is no single major cause of obesity; it’s a complex problem. Therefore, more than diet and exercise is required. There are genetic factors, environmental factors, societal issues, and others. We recommend working with medical professionals.

Historically, not much has been done by the medical community for obesity. Less than two percent of obese people seeing their doctors get any treatment plan. Now, more doctors are getting certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine to incorporate this part of the treatment into their practice.

The public should be aware of the increased availability of treatment for obesity. In addition, healthcare professionals interested in continued medical education on the management of obesity can join the Obesity Medicine Association.

For physicians already board certified in another specialty, there is a pathway that allows them to continue their practice while meeting the educational requirements to get certified to incorporate obesity treatment into their work.

The effects of obesity are reversible. However, if ignored, obesity can return, even after treatment. There is no point where a person can forget all the helpful lifestyle practices without risking obesity.

Success Story

Tim had tried many methods to lose weight but remained 264 pounds in March 2021. Finally, he was referred to Dr. Simonds and has lost 70 pounds. He decided to see Dr. Simonds when his Doctor told him he was at risk of having the same health problems his father had. As a result, he is now off all medication and maintaining his lifestyle changes.

Apart from weight loss, there are other non-scalable benefits like increased ease with carrying out simple daily activities, being comfortable socially, and cohabiting with other people comfortably.

Tim had battled with the fear of being judged at a weight loss consultation. He finally reached out to Dr. Simonds after trying several ineffective methods to lose weight. He discovered no form of judgment from Dr. Simonds.

Tim’s advice to people afraid of judgment is not to worry about what people say. “Stay committed, stay focused, and consider your health.” Commitment takes work. It is every day for the rest of your life.

The weight loss journey is not easy, but Dr. Simonds’ office is available to offer tools and support.

In the headlines, I saw that Lucky Charms are healthier than steak. Is this true, and how can this be?

The food scale by a director of nutrition solicited money from food corporations that expected their food to rate at the top of the list. Because of this, foods like Lucky Charms were ranked higher on the list.

Because of situations like this, much-skewed information based on sponsorship spreads to the public. The responsibility is placed on consumers to be informed, skeptical citizens.

When discussing the treatment of obesity, Lucky Charms is not a food we recommend eating.

The use of Ozempic today and its impact on the treatment of obesity

The generic name for Ozempic is Semaglutide, a new medication approved for treating obesity and diabetes.

For weight loss, it is called Wegovy, a weekly injection that helps you feel full to reduce food consumption. However, there are now shortages because of its popularity with weight loss. Further, insurance companies also do not cover it because of the cost.

A similar product, Mounjaro, is up for approval for weight loss. For patients with diabetes, it may be approved. However, for people without diabetes who want to use it for weight loss, plans are underway to help get insurance coverage for it. Retired state and federal employees also have plans available and can reach out to Dr. Simonds.

These medications may work better when combined with other medicines like Phentermine. Speak with your doctor for more information and if this will work for you.

Within the legal scope, Dr. Simonds will be working with a compounding pharmacy for Ozempic. In addition, he is working on plans for people who do not have insurance coverage for some of these drugs.

Why does the keto lifestyle work? Why does this diet method work for some but not all?

It works because it corrects a lot of problems of obesity, alongside helping you lose weight. However, nothing works for everyone, which is why Dr. Simonds employs different strategies depending on the individual.

Are genetics a significant factor in weight, and if so, how can someone change that for their children?

Yes, removing the genetic factor may not be possible, but other factors can be addressed.

It is important to note that we are not all supposed to be the same shape or size. The question is whether you are healthy.

As for children, one of the things you can do is get to a desirable weight before you get pregnant because this can significantly affect what genes would express themselves in your child’s life.

There is also the concept of Epigenetics, where you can come into contact with things in your environment that change your DNA which can pass down to your children. For example, the kinds of food eaten during pregnancy can turn on your obesity genes, affecting the child.

What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting with the keto lifestyle?

Fasting is a good approach because it entails a small eating window with an extended period without food. It helps with weight loss, blood sugar, inflammation, and elevated blood pressure.

Depression drives most of my failure with weight loss. Should I consider reevaluating my medication?

Indeed, many medications prescribed for other purposes can cause weight gain. Therefore, seeing your doctor evaluate your medication and deciding on adjustments is beneficial. Using certain weight loss medications may counter the effects of those drugs.

Isn’t age a significant reason for weight gain? Can you avoid gaining weight after a certain age?

Yes, it is possible to avoid gaining weight as you age. Dr. Simonds has many patients who have had no problems losing weight as they get older. Adhering to a diet restricting simple carbohydrates while taking up a more physically active lifestyle can help older adults lose weight. Medication may also help.