Overweight and obesity affect 74 percent, or roughly three out of every four Americans. This rate is projected to increase to 80 percent over the next decade-or sooner, because of the increase in weight gained during the pandemic,” says Katherine H. Saunders MD ’11. Katherine is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine who specializes in the care of patients with obesity and weight-related medical complications.
Katherine explains that the advice many patients receive-to eat less and exercise more-often fails to address the problem. “Overweight and obesity are misunderstood medical conditions that are more complex than calories in and calories out,” she explains.
The good news is that there are medically based approaches that work, Katherine says. The key is to create personalized, medical treatment plans which address both the underlying factors that lead to weight gain and the barriers that prevent weight loss.
“There are specific factors and barriers associated with each patient’s weight, and these factors depend on stage of life, specific health conditions, and many other variables,” Katherine says. “There is so much we can do to address these factors!”