Navigating the Medical System Lecture on Obesity

QUEENS -
Dr. Joe Ricci-Gorbea, a bariatric surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital of Queens, speaking on behalf of Navigating the Medical System Lecture Series.

Navigating the Medical System Lecture series featured a lecture on obesity on Tuesday evening, January 8, at Congregation Etz Chaim.

Dr. Joe Ricci-Gorbea, a bariatric surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital of Queens, delivered a detailed speech about bariatric surgery. He said surgery is the standard of care for obesity in certain circumstances.

He emphasized, “Surgery is a tool, not a cure.” He listed all the medical diseases related to obesity. He acknowledged that the strongest components for weight gain are behavioral. After surgery, it is important to eat well and exercise to maintain the weight loss. He then explained the surgical weight loss options: gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.

He said that after surgery, he follows up with patients and they become his patients for life. People eligible for this surgery have a BMI of over 40 or BMI of 35 with related disease. They also need a history of failed attempts at weight loss and no history of psychiatric disorders.

Next, Ms. Mian Conde, bariatric dietician at New York Presbyterian Hospital Queens warned how fad diets that promise rapid weight loss increase muscle mass loss, bone loss, and are not healthy. Your metabolism slows when you go on a fad diet. Fad diets promise you don’t need exercise. She stressed, “For good health we need exercise. So, stay far away from fad diets. They can be harmful.”

She spoke about the importance of exercise. “Choose something you enjoy and do it. Just move and sit less.”

Everyone left energized and informed. Only healthy snacks were served at the event.