When considering the word “obesity,” many people imagine critically overweight individuals and think:

“That isn’t me. I don’t need to take serious medical steps to control my weight—yet.”

But although obesity is often depicted in its most dramatic light, the fact is that oncoming and mild obesity can still endanger your health. And more importantly, when individuals are overweight and refuse to acknowledge the consequences of putting off lifestyle changes, they may severely harm themselves. The environment in which we live exposes us to large portions of highly caloric foods 24/7. Most people know the correct choices for a healthy diet—yet strong social, genetic, cultural and psychological influences make it difficult to adhere to healthier eating patterns.

The truth is that over 33% of all Americans are overweight—and even tipping the scales into the realm of obesity by a few pounds can have exponential consequences on your health. One way to gauge your weight in relationship to potential health risks is to keep track of your Body Mass Index (BMI). This equation incorporates the height and weight of the individual in relation to what it should be for better health. Here’s a chart that can help determine your optimal BMI.

Maintaining a healthy weight is not a matter of appearance, it is a matter of life or death. Too many individuals simply need to lose 10-40 pounds to get back on the road to health and happiness. That’s why researchers have developed a more effective approach to weight loss and maintenance. It respects the need to individualize the problem from patient to patient by considering lifestyle factors. By using the patient’s eating, exercise and coping habits, physicians are able to understand and explain symptoms that lead to abnormal patterns of eating and exercise. With a clearer understanding of the factors that cause them to make the wrong choices, patients are better able to: Eat Less. Eat Better. Weigh Less.

As a primary care physician who is committed to preventive healthcare as well as integrative treatment plans, I believe that weight management should be a strong component of my practice. My office has integrated a nationally renowned, clinically sound method for losing weight. The extremely personalized nature of a concierge medical practice avails me the time and ability to offer this comprehensive plan as part of an all-inclusive healthcare strategy for members who might benefit from lowering their weight.

For more information, please contact my office to schedule a visit and learn how you can lose weight and live better.