CONTRAVE for Weight Loss – 57% of Americans gained weight during the Covid-19 pandemic. I spoke to an obesity medicine expert regarding CONTRAVE, a prescription medication designed to treat weight gain and promote weight loss.
We also discussed What is Why Weight: Communicate, a program designed to encourage those dealing with obesity by providing resources and tools to help them as well tips to communicate weight gain issues with doctors.
CONTRAVE is the trade name for Bupropion/naltrexone, a combination drug used for weight loss in those that are either obese or overweight with some weight-related illnesses. It combines low doses of bupropion and naltrexone. Both drugs have individually shown some evidence of effectiveness in weight loss, and the combination has been shown to have some synergistic effects on weight (WIKI).
I spoke to Dr Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine physician scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Here’s the interview…
CONTRAVE for Weight Loss
Lisa LaGrou – Oakland County Moms – According to a new Harris Poll, 57% of people report gaining some weight during the pandemic. How did the pandemic cause weight gain among so many?
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford – I’m glad you asked that question. This is really a great question because I think the reason people think people gained weight during the pandemic is that they were less active and just sat at home and ate. I’m going to change that narrative though. I think that the main reason people gained weight was because of the chronic stress and the unfamiliarity of being in a pandemic with people. When we have increased stress we have storage of fat or what we call adipose tissue. And that goes up with chronic stressors and inflammation in the body. What happens is that our body stores fat typically around our midsection which is in the worst place that you could store it. That leads to worsened not only obesity, but also other diseases like fatty liver disease for example.
Lisa LaGrou – Oakland County Moms – How can obesity and excess weight impact overall health in the long run?
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford – Absolutely, what we do know, first of all is that obesity is a disease – a lot of people don’t know this. So when I say I’m a obesity medical physician, everyone says is that even a thing. Absolutely it is. But it wasn’t until 2013 that obesity was really acknowledged as a disease by the medical community; so, very recently. Now that we know that it is a disease that’s in play, we know that it’s a disease that’s really governed by the brain and it actually leads to worsened disease across about 264 disease processes that leads to greater sickness, and unfortunately higher risk of dying. We particularly saw this play out during the Covid 19 pandemic as obesity rose to being one of the major risk factors for greater sickness, need for a ventilator, and unfortunately, subsequent death.
Lisa LaGrou – Oakland County Moms – Many see this urgency and so many people have tried both diet and exercise to lose weight, and get no results. Tell us about the new survey conducted by The Harris Poll, and what did you find most surprising about the results?
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford – Just a few things… if someone is struggling with their weight, the goal is for us to be able to educate them, but also for them to get the help they need from healthcare providers. Looking at the survey that went out, we first talked to determine how many people gained weight during the pandemic, what was the percentage…We looked at over 2,000 adults and found that one in 57% gained significant weight during the pandemic, and interestingly enough, over half of those individuals gained 15 pounds or more. So, quite a sizable weight gain. But one of the other things that we really wanted to get across or ask about was do people feel comfortable talking to their healthcare providers about their weight. What we found was that almost a third had actually never discussed their weight with their healthcare provider and more than 53% felt uncomfortable discussing their weight with their healthcare provider for fear of feeling embarrassed, guilty, or judged about their weight.
Lisa LaGrou – Oakland County Moms – I’m very surprised to hear that. Can you tell us more about CONTRAVE?
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford – CONTRAVE is a medication that’s approved by the FDA for the chronic treatment of obesity as a disease. A lot of people are unaware, but there are medications that are actually approved, and many of these medications act on how the brain sees weight to cause you to eat less and to store less. And, that’s exactly what we see with the medication CONTRAVE, which is approved for chronic use and by chronic use, we don’t go on the medicine and stop it, we go on the medicine and maintain ourselves on the medications to treat the chronic disease and obesity.
Lisa LaGrou – Oakland County Moms – What is Why Weight: Communicate?
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford – Why Weight: Communicate? is an educational initiative that provides tools and encouragement to adults so that they can take control of their weight by getting really healthy and meaningful conversations with their healthcare providers. With this particular initiative, we have videos and conversation starters that can really help you to begin to have a comfortable, hopefully, and nurturing environment and relationship with your healthcare provider about your weight.
Lisa LaGrou – Oakland County Moms – Where can we find more information?
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford – I would have them go to whyweightcommunicate.com. It’s free resources, free tools, and is ready for you to access right now. We’d love to see you coming along and join us so that we can better address this pandemic of obesity, the number one disease in human history.
For more info on CONTRAVE for Weight Loss and Why Weight: Communicate?, visit whyweightcommunicate.com