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Obesity: How Does Family History Affect This? - Dr. Podkameni

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Dr. David Podkameni addresses how family history and family habits can increase an individual's risk of obesity. Dr. Podkameni specializes in bariatric and general surgery at Banner Gateway Bariatric Center in Gilbert, Arizona.

Dr. Podkameni:
Well I think there are certain things that we have to talk about before even talking about a mother who had bariatric surgery or a mother who has a child who is obese or overweight.

One thing that is extremely important is the family habits. Whatever you do at home, it’s going to reflect on your kids. So, if you don’t change the way you behave in front of food the kids are going to do the same things that you are doing. So one thing, it’s changing your behavior with food, towards food, not just for you, but also for the kids that you have, for your household. So that’s one important thing.

The second thing is, let’s assume mother had bariatric surgery. So what are the things that she can do is to teach this kid, adolescent or otherwise, that one, she had that surgery because she really failed medical therapy and showing that side, I think it’s extremely important so the kid can understand that unfortunately, medical management and other types of management other than surgery can be helpful, and medical therapy can fail and it shows a side of this mother that I think it’s important for the kid to understand why all the changes are going through like before they were eating fast food and now all of a sudden there is no more fast food; there is just protein shakes in the beginning or there are some other types of foods that are completely different than they were having before so, why all of a sudden this change?

So depending on the age of the kid, I think it’s extremely important for the kid to understand. Obviously you don’t have to go ahead and tell the kid, “Oh I had this type of surgery; I had that type of surgery,” but depending on their age group, give them a good idea on why and what type of surgery they had and once that is established, the kid will understand in a much easier way exactly what types of food and what types of activities the family needs to do to improve their health because usually obesity unfortunately is not a problem of the individual; it’s a problem most of the time from the unit, from the family. So it needs to be addressed as a whole.

One of the adolescents that we had in our program, she was struggling with obesity for her entire life, and not just her but also mom, and the entire family struggling with obesity and we started by intervening with the family and trying to get them to improve their lifestyle, change the way they were perceiving food, and not just that, but after that kid, which is not a kid but adolescent, had surgery and in that case had a LAP-BAND® and achieved a very good weight loss over a period of one year. The entire family actually achieved some weight loss.

The family started to think about bariatric surgery initially and they decided to put that on hold and try to help the daughter, plus try to change their lifestyle and they actually ended up losing some weight, and I think that’s a big accomplishment for, not just the kid, but also for the family.

About Dr. David Podkameni, M.D.:
Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dr. Podkameni started his general surgery training at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York in 1996. He then returned to Brazil, where he became board certified in general and pediatric surgery. Dr. Podkameni finished his minimally invasive/laparoscopy training at the Cleveland Clinic in 2004. He serves as medical director of the Banner Gateway Bariatric Center. Dr. Podkameni specializes in Bariatric Surgery and General Surgery.

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Condition: Obesity Morbid Obesity, Weight Loss, Morbidly Obese

Related Terms: Adolescent Bariatric Surgery, Obese Family History, Weight Loss, Nutrition, BMI, Body Mass Index

Health Care Provider: Banner Hospital, Banner Medical Center, Banner Bariatric, Banner Gateway, Banner Health, Banner Bariatric Center, Banner Gateway Medical Center

Location: Gilbert, Phoenix, AZ, Arizona, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Queen Creek, Higley, Apache Junction, Sun Lakes 85234

Expert: Dr. David Podkameni, Dr. Podkameni, Bariatric Surgery David Podkameni, Doctor Podkameni, David Podkameni, M.D.

Expertise: Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery, Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery, Adrenalectomy, Splenectomy, Cholecystectomy, Pediatric Surgery


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