medical weight management


Answers from an expert at Adventist Health Bakersfield

According to the CDC, more than 60 percent of the population is either overweight or obese — and experts say that’s bad for heart health. According to Dr. Amira Ayad, “The heavier a person is, the higher the risk of heart disease.” Amira Ayad, MD, is board certified in obesity medicine and sees patients at the Adventist Health Physicians Network in downtown Bakersfield.

Below, we have compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about weight loss and weight management.

Q: Why is weight management important?

A: Healthy weight plays a vital role in a person’s overall health. Working toward and maintaining a healthy weight can improve many medical problems and prevent others. When you manage weight, it’s really preventative medicine.

Q: How does a person’s weight affect their heart health?

A: Being overweight or obese raises a person’s risk for heart disease and heart attack. That’s especially true when you look at belly circumference. The larger a person’s waistline, the greater the risk.

Q: Is there a point where an overweight person is more at risk for heart disease?

A: People with the highest risk are those with a body mass index (BMI) over 30. The risk continues to increase as BMI goes up. But anyone with a BMI over 25 may have increased risk too, especially if they have other risk factors for heart disease, such as if they smoke or have high blood pressure. A high BMI is also a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. We want to help prevent diabetes before it starts or causes harm, so early intervention is always key.

Q: Who should seek weight management treatment?

A: Anyone with a BMI over 25 can have a consultation. Having a BMI of 25 or greater can put a person on the borderline of having diabetes. Early intervention is key in preventing diabetes.

Q: What is your advice to someone reading this, who knows they are overweight but isn’t sure where to begin?

A: First things first: Acknowledge the problem. Don’t wait. Start today by consulting a primary care doctor, and don’t blame yourself. Just take the beginning steps for intervention. Most importantly don’t stress. Know this can be a long journey, and there will be ups and downs.