Dr. Josephine L. Rodriguez, Ph.D., LMHC, LMFT, NCC, a Nationally Certified Counselor, licensed in both Mental Health and Marriage and Family Counseling, who resides in Coral Springs, Florida,has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board-Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC). Continue reading
Dear Dr. Diet,
I’ve lost the same 30 pounds…10 times! When I feel strangled by my waistband I go back to my keto diet.
Dear “A Waist Is A Terrible Thing to Mind”,
Veteran dieters are experts at the all-or-nothing, stuff/starve syndrome…one day broccoli, the next day is ice cream. (Perhaps Ben & Jerry should consider a broccoli flavored ice cream.)
It appears that your body has a weight settling point, that’s higher than your mind approves of. If I can’t convince you to accept your nature…let me offer some suggestions. Continue reading
Heather M. Krick, RD, LDN, a licensed Nutritionist from Easton, Pa., has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board-Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC). Continue reading
Dr. Abhinav Mahajan, DPT, CCI, ITPT, a licensed physical therapist based in Modesto, California, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science he was recently credentialed as a Board-Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).
Dr. Mahajan is a Doctor of Physical Therapy practicing with California Rehabilitation and Doctors Medical Center, both in Modesto. At these centers he also serves as clinical director and instructor for clinical education, site services, for Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, and Speech therapy program student’s placements. He earned his master’s degree from A.T. Still University in Arizona and his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Northern Michigan University. Continue reading
Dr. Denise Hall, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist located in Norfolk, Virginia, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).
Dr. Hall has more than 15 years of experience in private clinical practice with specialty in conducting the requisite psychological assessment and evaluations for patients seeking bariatric surgeries. Currently she is practicing at a bariatric division of Sentara Medical Group located in Norfolk, Virginia. She continues to conduct psychological evaluations as well as actively facilitate several support groups for patients post bariatric surgery. Continue reading
Dr. Dalia Shawer, a pediatrician and licensed clinical nutritionist is the first Egyptian health professional to be awarded Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).
Dr. Shawer completed her medical training in Pediatrics at Alexandria University in Egypt and her Clinical and Therapeutic Nutrition training from the European Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. She also has been Certified as a Lactation Consultant by the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants. She specializes in pediatric and adult nutrition and weight management.
Her years of clinical experience in Egypt and Kuwait supports current research that demonstrates that a mother’s nutrition before and during pregnancy can contribute to their baby’s development of obesity. To offer her patients best practices she became a fellow with AABC and completed their specialized training and certification program.
Her scholarship and commitment to public health will further the AABC global mission of providing best practices in the care, treatment and prevention of obesity and related disorders.
For more information, please contact Carrie Moraites, Fellows Coordinator:
Tricia Cooke, a licensed clinical nutritionist-dietitian from Flushing, NY, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science, she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).
Cooke is an accomplished health professional with more than a decade of clinical experience counseling patients with complex chronic diseases. She has specialty in weight management and in the treatment of patients pre and post bariatric surgery.
Her training and education includes a BS in Nutrition from Queens College and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York Institute of Technology. She is a NYS Licensed and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist, in addition she has been Certified in Adult Weight Management by the Commission of Dietetic Registration.
Recognizing that obesities have biological mechanisms, psychological processes and social influences and requires specialized post-graduate training, she became a fellow with AABC and successfully completed their certification program. Her clinical experience, scholarship and commitment to public health will further the AABC global mission of providing best practices in the care and treatment of those suffering from obesity and related disorders.
For more information, please contact Carrie Moraites, Fellows Coordinator: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Keating, BS, CPT, CBC, who resides in Arvada, Colorado, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors, (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science, she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).
Her professional education includes a BS Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has been certified as a Personal Trainer by the American Council on Exercise as well as the National Academy of Sports Medicine. The American Fitness Professionals & Associates has awarded her certification as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Weight Management Consultant and Pre-Post Natal Exercise Specialist. Continue reading
Science has historically been riddled with the nature vs nurture conundrum as it relates to human development. Perhaps this riddle has been solved with the emergence of the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics suggests that it is not nature vs nurture but rather nature via nurture that shapes human development.
Epigenetics recognizes that we all are born with a heritable genetic “blue print” that predisposes our development. Like father, like son; like mother, like daughter. Developmental conditions like height and weight are more heritable then almost any other human condition studied. However, some of these inherited genes (nature) are malleable by outside influences (nurture) that can shape or reshape these predisposition potentials and affect our development.
Having tall parentage would likely predispose for tallness. But that predisposition potential cannot be realized unless weight baring activity and optimal nutrition (calcium, protein, Vitamin D etc.) is available. Continue reading
Bariatric clinicians at The American Association of Bariatric Counselors have identified a frequently undiagnosed shame based dysfunctional psychological disorder that is pervasive amongst many obese patients that can help explain relapses: AVOIDANT PERSONALITY DISORDER DSM-5 30
As the diagnosis suggests, the main coping mechanism of those with avoidant personality disorder is avoidance. This chronic disorder is so deeply rooted, that shame riddled obese patients will avoid the pain of confronting anything that conjures up their obesity shame.
Feelings of shame triggers avoidant behaviors; interruption of self-monitoring, scale use, exercise, mindful eating, weight gain and especially not keeping appointments at your office/clinic This can explain how a minor weight gain can become a full blown relapse.
How Avoidant Personality Disorder Leads To Avoidance Syndrome and Dysregulated Eating Behaviors
The best way we can explain how the Avoidance Syndrome leads to dysregulated eating behaviors and weight gain is by telling by a real story. There are many ways that this story can begin but this is the version that most patients identify with and how the story was told to me by a patient.
This completes part three our three part best practices series:
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Some years ago Connecticut College undergrad students and a professor of psychology found that “America’s favorite cookie” is just as addictive as cocaine – at least for lab rats. And just like most humans, rats go for the middle first. (See video above)
Their study found that that Oreos caused a higher level of activation than cocaine or morphine in the same brain pathways related to drug addiction. This supports the hypothesis that processed foods like Oreos that synthesize flour, sugar and fat are contributors to the obesity pandemic and comparable to drug addiction. Continue reading
Even those of us in the bariatric science community can become prejudice to the familiar and can and be blinded by the science of public consensus.
Perhaps it is because we often recognize overweight/ obesity prior to a diagnosis of type II diabetes that we leap to a cause and effect relationship and thus conclude that obesity causes diabetes? Maybe we are wrong. What we know now about Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome is that insulin resistance prevents glucose from entering our cells and results in elevated blood glucose. The elevated glucose is then converted in fatty acids and with the aid of insulin gets stored as fat in adipose tissue, resulting in obesity. Continue reading
Asprosin hormone: Extreme Thinness Hormone May Prevent Obesity and Diabetes
The gut and brain have a multitude of very powerful chemical messengers that regulates eating behavior and weight.
In recent years bariatric scientists have been able to finally identify some of the messengers that can start and stop a meal. Being able mediate these messengers may offer the “the silver bullet” cure for diabesity treatment.
Current science thinking is that these gut brain cross-talking chemical messengers may be very different between the thin and thick. Continue reading
The American Association of Bariatric Counselors, Providers of Bariatric Education and Certification for Licensed, Registered and Certified Health and Education Professionals Has Become a Continuing Education Approved Provider for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).
Sheryl Phillips, Director of Academic Standards and Compliance for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC), has announced that AABC has successfully met all standards of education, and has become a Continuing Education Approved Provider for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).
Today, there are more than 60,000 National Certified Counselors in 40 countries. Certified Counselors have met high research based national standards set by the counseling profession. AABC shares the NBCC vision of enhancing society worldwide through quality counseling. Continue reading
Stephen Phillips, Director of Public Policy for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC), has announced that AABC has successfully met all standards of education, and has become a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider for The Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR is the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Director Phillips stated that, ìthe Commission’s certification programs are fully accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence based in Washington, D.C. AABC’s accreditation reflects achievement of the highest standards of professional credentialing. Continue reading
Bariatric Science: Dr. OZ talks about the Health Corps project with Touro college and AABC’s Stephen Phillips
Amy Lukin, MS, RD, CBC, a registered dietitian, licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized fellowship training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).
Ms. Lukin currently serves as site manager and clinical dietitian/nutritionist at Unity Health Care in Washington, D.C. The federally funded program provides nutrition education and nutrition supplementation for women, infants and children. Lesson plan curricula that she developed, targets childhood obesity and has been adopted by Department of Health and is available throughout D.C.
She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University, her Master’s Degree in Nutrition at College of Saint Elizabeth in NJ and completed a specialized dietetic internship at Lehman College in New York City. In addition, the Commission of Dietetic Registration awarded her a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management.
Recognition of the obesity pandemic and the need for specialized competency in bariatric science was the impetus for her post-graduate fellowship and certification with AABC. Her clinical experience with adults and children, scholarship and commitment to public health will further the AABC global mission of providing best practices in the care and treatment of those suffering from obesity and related disorders.
Dear Dr. Diet,
A True Case History
This is how I remember Norma telling me her story in her initial visits with me. From my detailed and copious notes I have summarized her struggles and saga in her voice.
It is hard to believe I was a beautiful and joyful child. I was chosen from thousands of little girls to be the face of a national brand laundry soap and posed for all their promotions. I am an only child and until the age of 7, I was doted on by my very trim-prim and proper mother and even my German born father, a very strict, authoritarian, expressed his love for me.
They both were very proud and very protective of me and would not allow me to play outdoors with neighborhood kids, for fear I would get hurt or bruised and would be not able to pose for pictures. I had one friend, Jo Ann, who lived next door and she was permitted to play with me, in our house only, and we were always supervised. I was special.
It all abruptly changed when the ad agency told my father that I gained too much weight and they could not renew the contract until I lost weight.
My father was angry and outraged with my mother and she cried. Even at 7 years old I knew it was my fault and I lived with the shame. My mother put me on my first diet. I vividly remember it because my mother baked a red-velvet cake for my birthday and had me blow out the candles, cut the cake, they took pictures, but would not allow me to have a piece. I cried myself to sleep. That was the turning point of my life…I was no longer special and no longer happy.
I began sneaking all the food I was not allowed to have. Furiously, my father weighed me each week and could not understand why I was not losing weight. The more food I was not allowed to have, the more I would steal. The more bitter my life was, the more sweets I wanted. The ad agency never renewed the contract.
Elementary school was a nightmare for me. Like my father I was very tall, a head taller and fatter than the other girls. And as a result of not being able to play with them after school…I was always the outsider.
Even my only friend Jo Ann would no longer sit next to me on the school bus. When choosing up sides in the school yard or gym…I would hear whispers of I don’t want her.
My worst grade school memories were when the school nurse would bring the scale into the classroom each year. I was always the heaviest and the tallest. Every year she would give me a note that notified my parents that I was overweight, and the note required a parent signature. I still shiver at that memory.
Middle school and high school were worse than elementary school. I was called thunder thighs, the fattest and tallest girl in the school. Nobody was ever fatter, all through high school.
My father never stopped taunting me about my weight and never forgot about losing the contract. Even when I went to the dentist and had some cavities, he told the dentist it was from all the candy I ate and not to give me Novocain. I was fat and not deserving. To this day I avoid the dentist and have many missing teeth, that I am sure you have noticed.
My mother was a piano teacher and we had a baby grand in the living room, where she gave lessons to the neighborhood kids. The same kids that tortured me every day came to my home after school. My only refuge in my whole world was my bedroom where I could eat and hide the food that I would steal while my mother was teaching. As long as I heard the piano, it was safe. My father died when I was in High school. On the same day as my father’s funeral I bought a dozen Duncan Donuts and snuck them into the house in my book bag and ate them, in spite of him.
When life was bitter all I ever wanted was sweet.
With every diet I tried, my mother would encourage me and say, “Do it in your fathers’ memory,” that same memory that still haunts me.
When I finished high school, my mother told me I should become a teacher or a nurse. Not too many options back then. I figured if I became a teacher the students would make fun of me every day but if I became a nurse, patients in pain would not care what I looked like. I became an RN.
I am an ER nurse and always work the graveyard shift. I never got my driver’s license for fear that I would not fit behind the wheel of some driving school car. So take buses. Buses are empty at night and I always get a seat alone so I don’t have to worry about the looks I would get when I would spill-over to the other passenger’s space. ER patients are in and out, so I didn’t have to worry about personal contact.
Every day of my live I have had to carefully plan on how to avoid the punishment of humiliation. When I leave for work each night all I want is to return to my room, the only comfort and refuge I have known, alone with my secrets.
The other nurses were pleasant to me but kept their distance, especially when they would gossip about their love lives or how they avoided some of the doctor’s sexual advances…if they only knew how I would have welcomed that. I am proud of my nursing. You know I am very good at pleasing people.
My mother was always vigilant with her health and her morning constitutional walk…that I always refused to join in. She was especially holier than though with her perfect diet, even loved Brussel Sprouts. “Norma, if you just eat like me you can lose the weight”.
At forty years old I weighed 280 lbs., and still lived with my mother in the same bedroom I grew up in. I never had a true friend or a boyfriend or any kind of romance or sex life. The only sensual thing I have ever known are sweets. I still hide them in the very same spots I did when my father was alive.
My healthy mother went for her annual check-up and they discovered a cardiac blockage and she needed a bi-pass. The cardiologist said, that because of her health, she was an excellent candidate for the surgery. She had it done in the hospital I work in. They took her from the OR to surgical recovery where I sat vigil at her bedside. When she awoke, she stared into my eyes and tearfully said, “I only hope to live long enough to see you thin”. She died the next morning.
Many of the doctors in the hospital have sent their obese patients to see you and I thought I would use some of the money my mother left me and see if you could help me.
This is how I remember Norma telling me her story in her initial visits with me. From my detailed and copious notes I have summarized her struggles and saga using her voice. Norma died some years ago but gratefully I still hear her voice, it is that voice that continues to inspire me and has helped shape more than three decades of counseling
If was a reader I probably would want to know if Norma succeeded in losing the weight ..but then of course I would be among all her tormentors that judged her solely on her size
What Norma needed to lose was the undeserved and unearned shame that shaped and riddled her entire life. Success for Norma was not a number on a scale but rather finally winning her own approval and perhaps some love and approval from you and me. Whether someone is thick or thin or different than us, in mind or body wehave a responsibility to celebrate their lives and decisions. They are no more or no less human and deserve our humanity without judgement.
If Fat Shaming Worked Nobody Would Be Obese
“Ask Dr.Diet” is a pseudonym for Stephen Phillips, a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor and public health director for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC).