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Do I have to diet to lose weight?

Obesity is a growing health concern in the United States. Complications of obesity include diabetes, abnormalities in growth and puberty, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, liver disease, sleep apnea and arthritis. Lifestyle counseling on diet, exercise and weight loss goals are the first steps in controlling obesity. Diet options include low-calorie, low-fat, low-carbohydrate and the Mediterranean diet. Short-term diets usually have short-term effects. To achieve a healthy weight and good health, changes really need to be made permanently. I recommend high-fiber foods which provide better satiety and tend to reduce the amount of calories absorbed. You can feel more satisfied if your diet is filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and other high-fiber foods.
Prescription drugs or over-the-counter diet pills can be helpful but have a risk of side effects including addiction, anemia, high blood pressure, vitamin deficiencies, and rarely liver injury. Bariatric surgery is an option for patients who are unable to lose weight with lifestyle modifications or medications but can also have side effects such as surgical complications, need for surgical revision or chronic malabsorption. Before choosing these options you will need to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor.

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