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July 13th, 2017

Obesity: an individualized approach doubles the success rate of weight loss therapy

By Sharon Rosen

Many people think if they just stick to a diet and exercise, they’ll lose weight; unfortunately, many are not successful. They wonder why they can’t lose weight even after trying many different diets, work out programs and medications. According to Andres Acosta, M.D., Ph.D., the answers, at least partially, may be in your genes. His research in obesity shows that there is not just one type of obesity, and there are many different genetic and biological factors that play a role in losing or gaining weight. That’s why Dr. Acosta and his team have developed an individualized approach to tackle obesity – one patient at a time.

In the new Obesity Clinic within Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, a multidisciplinary team selects therapy for each patient based on his or her genetic and biological characteristics, environment and behavior. The new approach is already dramatically increasing treatment success and pioneering the application of precision medicine to treat chronic diseases.

Dr. Andres Acosta

“Prior to using an individualized approach, only 30 percent of obese patients had successful weight loss after treatment. We studied 500 patients to identify the factors leading to their obesity and then selected the best therapy for each patient based on their unique characteristics. With this new approach, patients with obesity will lose two times more weight than with standard therapy. This is critical because obesity is one of the leading causes of death and increases the risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer. Our goal is to help people get control of their weight and live a healthier lifestyle,” says Dr. Acosta.

“We often think of individualized medicine being used to treat cancer or rare genetic disorders. Now we are pioneering a new treatment for obesity, a chronic disease. This is where the future of precision medicine is headed – developing individualized treatments for many common, chronic conditions.”

So how does the individualized approach work for patients with obesity?

Here is an example: some obese patients do not experience a normal sensation of fullness after eating and it takes them longer to feel full. Dr. Acosta and his team were able to identify genetic characteristics linked to this condition and then prescribe a currently available medication to help these patients feel full sooner, stop overeating and lose weight.

"This individualized approach to treating obesity allows physicians to maximize the effectiveness and safety of currently available, FDA-approved medications and endoscopic and surgical procedures. It may also lead to the development of new treatments to meet the unique needs of patients." - Dr. Andres Acosta

"This individualized approach to treating obesity allows physicians to maximize the effectiveness and safety of currently available, FDA-approved medications and endoscopic and surgical procedures. It may also lead to the development of new treatments to meet the unique needs of patients," says Dr. Acosta.

The Obesity Clinic is open to anyone who is overweight or obese and wants to lose weight. Patients visiting the clinic will see a multidisciplinary health care team, which includes gastroenterologists, dietitians, surgeons, endocrinologists and psychologists, all specializing in the treatment of obesity. As part of their evaluation, patients will have:

  • Genetic testing to identify unique characteristics that may impact weight gain or make weight loss more difficult
  • Pharmacogenomics testing to identify any genetic factors that impact how a person processes medications
  • Evaluation of eating habits, including appetite and diet
  • Assessment of lifestyle and behavioral factors that may play a role in weight gain

Patients also meet one on one with staff in Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program to develop a personalized plan for nutrition, fitness and wellness. With follow up support from wellness coaches, the program helps patients successfully maintain control over their weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

For more information or to request an appointment, email The Obesity Clinic at RSTINDIVOBESITY@mayo.edu

Register for the 2017 Individualizing Medicine Conference

Learn more about precision medicine and how it can be applied to improve diagnosis and treatment for many conditions at Individualizing Medicine 2017: Advancing Care Through Genomics.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, is hosting the sixth annual genomics conference, October 9–10, in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine is hosting the conference with support from the Jackson Family Foundation.

Tags: #bariatric surgery, #CIMCon17, #Dr. Andres Acosta, #fitness, #healthy lifestyle, #Individualizing Medicine 2017, #Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, #Mayo Clinic Individualizing Medicine Clinic, #obesity, #Obesity Clinic, #personalized nutrition, #weight loss, #weight loss treatment, center for individualized medicine, Genetic Testing, genomic medicine, individualized medicine, mayo clinic, medical research, pharmacogenomics, Precision Medicine, wellness coaching

Comment


mjb29
@mjb29

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 30, 2017
Posted by @mjb29, Sun, Jul 30 8:48am

Who do I talk to? I would like to make an appointment.


7759jean
@7759jean

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 30, 2017
Posted by @7759jean, Sun, Jul 30 10:00am

I’ve been over weight since I hit the age of 40,i am obese told by my Dr.Is this only 5 days?since I am a winter Texan and leave in December. Will the insurance pay for this? Will this work if they had cancer and in remission? My husband is also obese, could we do it together?


karensouthdakota
@karensouthdakota

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 30, 2017
Posted by @karensouthdakota, Sun, Jul 30 11:41am

Yes wondering about insurance coverage i have medicaid and medicare. Also does it matter if you’ve already had gastric bypass?


7759jean
@7759jean

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 30, 2017
Posted by @7759jean, Mon, Jul 31 7:10pm

Not. Old enough, only have BCBS.No surgeries, only cal count,small portion, nohing has worked

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