ACCORDING TO RECENT DATA from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, approximately one-third of U.S. adults and 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese. Even mild obesity increases an individual’s risk for diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disorders, certain cancers and other medical problems. The MGH Weight Center – which provides specialized, comprehensive treatment for patients who suffer from obesity – recently enacted several changes to further improve its care and research.
Longtime Weight Center physician Janey Pratt, MD, of the Division of General Surgery, has been appointed the new director of the center. Kathleen Corey, MD, MPH, of the Weight Center and Gastroenterology Division, will serve as associate director of the center and director of Clinical and Translational Research. Lee Kaplan, MD, PhD, founding director of the Weight Center and a physician in the Gastroenterology Division, will lead a newly established program in Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Research.
“Under Dr. Kaplan’s guidance, the center has become a national leader in obesity medicine and research,” says Pratt. “We are excited to continue to provide the highest-quality, multidisciplinary care for our patients while enhancing our research efforts.”
The MGH Weight Center, which was established in 1999, is a collaboration of the Department of Medicine, the Department of Surgery, the Department of Psychiatry and MassGeneral Hospital for Children. It offers a complete range of services to overweight patients, from nutritional, exercise and psychological counseling to state-of-the-art medical and surgical treatment. The center emphasizes the importance of life-long care of patients and has programs designed to promote close, long-term follow-up in order to ensure the best outcomes for patients with obesity.
Much of the clinical care provided by the center is firmly based in the scientific research. The new program in Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Research will move forward with existing basic science research conducted by the Weight Center. At the same time, it will focus in on investigation into the gastrointestinal regulation of metabolic function and expand research in the areas of obesity medicine and metabolism.
For more information about the MGH Weight Center, access www.weightcenter.org.