LRH Adds Optifast Weight Loss Program
Lakes Regional Healthcare (LRH) took another step toward improving the health and wellness of people in the Iowa Great Lakes region. Their new OPTIFAST® Weight Loss Program will provide people with a holistic approach to weight loss and likely improve their health outcomes and reduce their risks for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
LRH partnered with Seasons Center for Behavioral Health and the Bedell Family YMCA to develop this program. It combines comprehensive lifestyle education, physical activity in a supportive setting, and medical monitoring with a high-quality meal replacement diet. According to LRH Registered Dietitian and OPTIFAST Weight Loss Program Coordinator Beth Samuelson, “Our program will treat people, not just their weight issues. Our patients will be given a medical weight loss program, including support, counseling, lifestyle education, meal replacements, and more. The goals of the program are long-term weight loss and a reduction in weight-related health issues.”
The program is provided in many other locations throughout the nation and has been successful for over 35 years. The closest locations that offer the program are Des Moines and Minneapolis. In a study of 20,000 patients, average weight loss over 22 weeks was 52 pounds. Patients also showed an average decrease of 15 percent in cholesterol number, and a 29% average drop in blood glucose number.
People who have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 and above are candidates for LRH’s OPTIFAST Weight Loss Program. According to Samuelson, the weight many of the people meeting the program’s BMI requirement carry creates physical difficulties and even shortens their lives. She said the program is ideal as an option for patients who may not meet guidelines for a surgical weight loss solution or would prefer a non-surgical approach.
LRH is accepting patients now for the program’s first session to begin in February. Before beginning the program, patients must have a medical assessment and receive an initial evaluation to determine if the program is right for them. Samuelson said, “We plan to have Information Sessions in January for people to learn more about the program. It’s going to be such an asset to people in the Iowa Great Lakes region and we think people will be pleased with the program and the results they’ll see. It’ll be nice to provide the support and services needed to truly make weight loss successful, short term and long term.”
For more information about LRH’s OPTIFAST Weight Loss Program, visit www.lakeshealth.org, talk to your local family physician, or call Samuelson at 712-336-8785.