Episode 71: Addressing the Obesity Health Crisis with Dr. Amanda Velazquez

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The Produce Moms Podcast

“Part of the obesity problem is that health care providers aren’t sufficiently trained to give the information patients need to make healthy choices.” – Dr. Amanda Velazquez (5:50-6:03)

Dr. Amanda Velazquez is an obesity medicine doctor and a nutrition specialist, and she is board certified as an internal medicine doctor. Dr. Velazquez helps her patients with weight loss so they can improve their health and address medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. 

“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates (The Father of Medicine)

The concept of food as medicine was first presented by Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician who is considered by some to be the father of medicine. But the topic of food doesn’t come up as often as it should when doctors are advising patients on treatment plans. The good news is that nutrition is becoming more mainstream in medicine. But there is still a long way to go. 

“Be cautious how you take in media coverage of diet and weight loss programs. You need the support from your doctor and a trained professional.” – Lori Taylor (9:35-9:59)

For some doctors like Dr. Velazquez, nutrition is a critical component of health. She gives food equal power as the medicines she prescribes when it comes to treating various ailments. She emphasizes the value of food in conversations with patients, so they can realize the power of nutrition in health.

What we eat plays a critical role in treating a wide range of ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, and excess body weight, among many others. The issue often is that many doctors are not well equipped with nutrition knowledge through their medical training.

An effective nutrition plan has to be unique and customized to each patient’s unique circumstances, taking into account various factors such as schedule, family life, budget, and other factors.

Obesity is not about body image, it’s a health crisis.

Carrying extra weight over a certain amount can be harmful to health. It can contribute to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, joint health issues like arthritis, and other ailments. 

Weight is still a taboo topic, and many people who suffer from it don’t get to have the right conversation with their medical provider. With extra body weight, hormonal balance is disrupted, which can alter how the body functions. 

You might experience changes in blood sugar. This can contribute to diabetes, pre-diabetes, and blood pressure issues. If left unchecked, things can progress to a point where organ systems are affected by the extra weight.

People who have gained a certain amount of weight can find it almost impossible to lose because their body doesn’t burn fat like it used to.

Obesity isn’t about body image, it’s a health crisis. We’re not trying to conform to unrealistic body image standards often portrayed in the media. We’re trying to maintain optimal health so we can be happy and energetic. You don’t need to lose 100 pounds. Just losing 10 percent of body weight can go a long way for people that are suffering from obesity.

How can fresh produce be the solution to the obesity crisis?

Consuming fresh fruits and veggies is a crucial component to addressing obesity. It’s one of the healthiest ways we can get macronutrients and micronutrients in our diet in a natural way. The body receives all the nutrition from food to nourish itself. This can affect our hormones, cardiovascular health, and metabolism. 

“Don’t strive for a perfect body image. Instead, focus on improving your health.” – Amanda Velazquez (13:59 – 14:07)

Talk to a medical provider who can guide you with a nutrition and exercise plan that will work for you. Taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle can go a long way in developing sustainable habits and a healthy life for you and your family.

[bctt tweet=”Dr. Amanda Velazquez is an #obesity medicine doctor and a #nutrition specialist. She joins Lori on The Produce Moms #podcast to discuss how nutrition can play a crucial role in addressing the obesity crisis.” username=””]

How to get involved

  • Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! 
  • Connect with Dr. Amanda Velazquez on Instagram.

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What are your thoughts on the obesity health crisis? We’d love to hear from you. Share in the comments below or in our Facebook group.

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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