Featured Speaker Heart Beat Now
Dr. Ali Zentner received her undergraduate medical degree from McMaster University and completed her Internal Medicine Residency with an extra year of Cardiology training at the University of Calgary. In addition to her Fellowship in Internal Medicine, Dr. Zentner is a Diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Dr. Zenter the author of The Weight Loss Prescription: A Doctor’s Guide to Permanent Weight Reduction and Better Health for Life, and is a former medical consultant for Global National News Dr. Zentner is the Medical Coordinator of the Vancouver Island Bariatric Program in Victoria and also runs a busy prevention practice in Kerrisdale. She is a strong advocate for lifestyle intervention in the treatment of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. On a personal note, Dr. Zentner advocates that setting an example is the ultimate form of inspiration for patients. She is an avid marathoner and triathlete. Whether it is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or cycling across Canada, she believes that life’s adventures are the lessons of who we are and what we are capable o
We know that obesity is as much a disease as schizophrenia, or depression, or high blood pressure. And telling someone who carries extra weight to eat less and move more is like telling a schizophrenic to just ignore the voices. It’s like telling a patient with depression to cheer up, or asking someone with high blood pressure to just cut out salt.
There are a host of different factors that go into why one person carries extra weight, and gains weight, and under the exact same circumstances another person might even lose weight or maintain. There’s genetics, there’s body chemistry or physiology and then there’s environment.
Genetically speaking, some of us are very predisposed to weight gain. Body chemistry plays a huge factor in how hungry we are and how full we are. And whether something that we eat causes us to gain weight or not.
There are a variety of different hormones involved in how our body regulates fat metabolism and energy storage, and sometimes that system breaks. And then finally you and I live in a world that makes weight gain not just easy, but it’s the default.
If we go ahead and we live our lives and we mind our own business, most of us will gain weight. And so the big question here is how to help patients. Genetically speaking, we have no say. Body chemistry is something that sometimes we can often very much manipulate, whether it’s sometimes with medications or even with surgery for obesity.
And then finally environmentally speaking, there are a variety of different factors that we can do, from small changes to grand gestures, and everything in between to be healthier, to be higher functioning, to be fitter and stronger, and achieve not a goal weight per se, but a best weight that is comfortable, that is healthier, and that is maintainable long term.
Remember that this disease isn’t your fault, but it’s your responsibility, but it’s also the responsibility of your health care team. And it’s important as doctors and nurses that we educate patients, but it’s equally important for our patients to educate us.
My call to action is that patients out there educate their health care providers about what they need from us to better manage their obesity.
Local Practitioners: Family Doctor