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Weight loss for long-term health

Virtua’s nutrition team of more than 70 dietitians, nurses and technicians help you achieve better health.
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“It’s a real challenge to commit to lifelong changes in our diets,” says Jane Ryan, Virtua director of clinical nutrition services. “People
may resort to diets that provide quick results. But in the long run, these diets are unsatisfying and impossible to stick with.”

More than 90 percent of dieters can’t stay with their diets because they don’t have the tools for success: A total program that includes experienced professionals who understand the physical and emotional aspects of weight loss.

Virtua brings a different approach to the weight-loss table. April Schetler, nutrition coordinator at the Virtua Center for Weight
Management, says: “Virtua uses a medically integrated process to support people throughout their weight loss and beyond. Eating properly is just one part of our focus. We also emphasize the psychological aspects of weight control as well as exercise.”

A program with your name on it
“We recognize that every person has unique circumstances, and we customize a program for
that person alone,” explains Ryan.

“Our nutritionists emphasize the vast array of food choices and portion control, along with realistic recommendations for exercise. We teach people how to shop, prepare food and create a satisfying balanced diet.”

Ryan adds: “If you have a toothache, you go to the dentist. If you have the flu, you go to your family doctor. Healthy weight and proper nutrition are important aspects of long-term health and deserve the professional attention of a dietitian.”

Support for chronic conditions
Virtua’s Center for Weight Management outpatient nutrition services also support those with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease.

For people with diabetes, Virtua dietitians work closely with family doctors and endocrinologists to monitor how well blood sugar is being controlled and to make behavioral changes that will ensure success,” explains Ryan.

Who’s a candidate for weight-loss surgery?
For people who struggle with severe obesity, weight-loss surgery – or bariatric surgery – may be the preferred option for meaningful, long-term weight loss.

Virtua bariatric surgeon David Greenbaum, MD, describes a potential candidate for surgery: “We consider people with a BMI of more than 40 who are about 100 pounds overweight, and have made serious attempts to lose weight through healthy diet and exercise. We may also consider surgery for people with a BMI between 35 and 40, and 70 pounds overweight, if they have other serious health problems such as diabetes or sleep apnea.”

Dr. Greenbaum performs four different types of surgeries, matching the appropriate technique with a person’s needs. Many are minimally invasive for less pain and faster healing.

Because of their specialized training, Dr. Greenbaum and his colleagues have operated on patients from as far as Washington State, Texas and Florida. They also offer revisional surgeries to correct procedures that, originally, were not appropriately
matched to a patient’s needs.

In all cases, patients go through counseling before and after surgery. Virtua bariatric surgeon, Emeka Acholonu, MD, explains the ongoing process, which also includes more activity:

“People who were obese were likely to have been sedentary. We work with them to pursue a more active lifestyle for better long-term health.”

Fall in love with fitness
It’s no secret that getting and staying active is essential to long-term weight management and a healthy lifestyle. It’s the “staying” part that’s tricky.

That’s why Virtua created fitness centers to help keep members motivated to meet and maintain their goals.

“We approach fitness from a medical perspective, focusing on mind and body,” explains Bob Powell, Virtua VP. “Our goal is to help people live longer, healthier lives, so we’re thinking in new ways to give members an experience that will help them stay committed to fitness.” That includes flexible membership with access to any of three sites in Washington Township, Voorhees and Moorestown.

Find out how you can share the experience that thousands of South Jersey residents have already discovered. Call 1-855-VIRTUA-8 .