Dr. Powell’s Childhood Obesity Internet Interview

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Discussing Childhood Obesity

The following is an internet interview that I did for a Mount Shasta Newspaper:

Hi Dr. Powell,

Thanks so much for the interview! I’m planning to write a feature article about keeping New Year’s resolutions, and wanted your input in the losing weight section. 

How many people have you helped to meet their weight loss goals?

Between my father, Dr. Richard J. Powell, MD and myself we have been practicing Bariatrics (medical treatment of Obesity as a disease) for over 35 years. I have 4 offices and we see several hundred patients per week.

Why is it important/helpful to be under a physician’s care when losing weight?

Managing your weight is a complex task and depending on a person’s initial weight and underlying medical conditions it can be medically dangerous to do it on your own. There are thousands of diets out there and probably more than half of them are crazy and dangerous. Whether a person has to lose 20 pounds or 200 pounds I would much rather have a person come in and have it medically managed than to do some crazy over the counter Fad diet that can be medically dangerous.

Is diet or exercise more important for those wanting to make a healthy change in their lives? Or are they equally important?

Exercise is very important for a person’s cardiovascular health as well as their mental health. For weight loss the exercise would have to be very aggressive and almost every day for it to effect your weight. It should be continued if the person is doing it. The change in nutritional behaviors and becoming “in-control” of one’s nutrition and being educated on what you are actually putting into your body and actually eating higher quality nutrition in smaller amounts more often is critical to keep the metabolism going. One of the most critical item I see on a daily basis is that people don’t eat all day long and then they tend to overeat.

What is the one tip you would give to those wanting to lose weight in the New Year?

Take the time to take care of yourself. Start spending more time taking care of yourself then you do on your car. Don’t start on some dangerous fad diet. If you plan on changing your nutrition drastically seek medical advice.

What is your opinion on th e value of Nintendo’s Wii Fit? (I was considering adding a bit about it into the article).

We have one and it is AWESOME. Our whole family uses it. Of course the kids are a bit better at it then us adults. It is the next generation in video gaming where you actually interact in a physical sense. I recommend it to the parents of my teenage patients. It was actually mentioned in lectures at the America Society of Bariatric Physicians in Tampa Florida in October of 2008.

What programs do you offer at the Mount Shasta office?

We offer medically directed programs that follow the guidelines of the National Institute of Health and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. We individually customize our programs around the patient’s medical conditions. Our programs range from very aggressive Very Low Calorie Nutritional plans to Low Calorie programs. One of my concepts is that of the “SNEAL”. It is too long to describe here but please go to my blogs at www.Physiciansplan.net and I have a complete description of a SNEAL.

Plus… a few motivational statistics regarding weight loss… and anything else you think is of interest.

A 10% weight loss is a 57% reduction in risk for medical diseases directly related to weight (high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, stroke, and many more)

A 10 pound weight loss takes 100 pounds per square inch off of your knees.

A very famous statement that I think most of us have either forgotten or never heard is, “Make Your Food Your Medicine” What an incredible statement. What we have done is made our food our Poison. The person who said, “Make Your Food Your Medicine”—–Hippocrates—over 2,000 years ago and we still haven’t figured it out.

Here is one of mine, ” The Cure for Hunger is-FOOD!!!”

You need to learn to “SNEAL” (my word) See www.Snealtime.com. You need to learn to find Quick, Convenient, High Quality, Single-Serving, Tasty morsels of Food. It is NOT a snack. Refer to my previous blogs on my website:




Initially quite often the patients we treat want to have their nutrition taken away from them Temporarily and that is why we have several different aggressive plans where we supplement them with “SNEALS” of our own. We sell them at each office and we have three separate nutritional stores (Redding, Chico, and on-line @www.Carbessentials.net.)