The Centers for Disease Control say nearly 70 percent of Alabama residents are overweight. But Dr. Saritha Uppala is hoping to change that one patient at a time.
The Trinity Medical Center doctor has one plaque hanging on her wall that no other doctor in the state of Alabama has. It's a certification in obesity medicine.
"I have a better understanding of obesity and it's genetic biological and environmental factors," Uppula said.
She's used what she's learned from the certification to craft her Aim for Healthy Weight program. So far it's helped Tanna Pope drop 30 pounds. Pope works at Trinity Medical center with Dr. Uppala.
"We've had several doctors tell us about healthy weight loss here," Pope said.
But Pope says Uppala's plan felt different and so she decided to give it a try.
"The way she explained it was it would be a diet just for me," Pope said.
Uppala says obesity medicine focuses on the details of a person's medical history, eating habits and genetic makeup. She uses that knowledge to craft tailor-made weight loss plans for her patients.
Before patients ever see their weight loss plan, however, they must first fill out a series of forms, undergo a physical exam and have blood drawn.
"Each individual patient needs to be approached in a fashion that suits according to their lifestyle, their metabolic profile. Based on their physical exam and bloodwork," Uppala said.
Uppala says she has about 50 people in her program. The most weight loss she's seen is 50 pounds and she says that so far her patients are keeping the weight off.
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