Local physician encourages healthy loss of pandemic pounds

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Health & Wellness

Published on June 02, 2021 with No Comments

As the days get longer and more of our community is opening up, a local physician is encouraging patients to reverse the extra pounds they may have added over the past year of the pandemic. He says it’s a great time to get back on track with healthy habits and shed that extra weight.

“It seems nearly everyone has put on weight in the past year. Between stress and spending more time at home it is totally understandable,” said Dr. Vinay Tumuluri, internal medicine with Northwest Medical Group in La Porte and director of medical weight loss for Northwest Health. “Yet, it is important to begin losing those pounds before they create long-term health issues.” 

A recent study by the University of California, San Francisco confirmed what many scales and wardrobes have already shown – lower activity levels and increased snacking and overeating have added up, and not for the better. The study found significant increases in weight of roughly a pound and a half gained per month following the shelter in place orders of last spring.

Even before the pandemic, CDC data from 2017-2018 showed that 35% or more of the adults in Indiana had obesity. Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.

Extra pounds can increase the risk for many serious diseases and health conditions that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death. Overweight can lead to high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high blood cholesterol, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, many types of cancer and other concerns.

“Each patient has different needs and circumstances. While we know a healthy diet and exercise are the key to weight loss, an individualized plan to meet a patient’s unique needs is essential for their success. A primary care physician can advise on a plan that will incorporate your lifestyle and any underlying health conditions,” said Tumuluri.

According to the National Institutes of Health, strategies for weight loss and weight maintenance include dietary changes, physical activity, behavior therapy, pharmacotherapy and surgery. 

Northwest Medical Group continues to use a number of precautions to ensure a covid-safe environment. These include social distancing in waiting rooms, requiring masks for all patients and providers, and enhanced cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. They also offer telehealth visits for patient convenience. 

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Dr. Vinay Tumulari recommends shedding those excess pounds before being overweight leads to other, more serious health issues.

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