Hi!

I’m a doctor specializing in weight management, preventive medicine, and public health. I’m not a “diet doctor” or “weight loss doctor.”

I’m on Faculty at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University. I work alongside many others in the public health and health policy fields to help make it just a little easier to be healthy in our society.

My office is in Washington, D.C. at the National Center for Weight and Wellness, and I treat patients throughout the U.S. and internationally. We build productive and long-term relationships. They say really nice things about me.

Please look around my website, read my blog, or contact me. Here are a few recent blog entries:

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Why We Eat the Way We Eat.

Post image for TEDx Manhattan video produced and published

Last weekend I spoke at a TEDx conference in Manhattan, which was organized around the theme, “Changing the Way We Eat.” I was joined by a group of fascinating speakers and attendees, including Laurie David (producer of An Inconvenient Truth), Ken Cook (president of Environmental Working Group), Josh Verteil (founder of Slow Food USA), Lucas Knowles (from the USDA), and many others.

I was asked to provide a perspective on “Why We Eat the Way We Eat.” Here’s what I said:


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Training Young Docs…We Need Healers.

A patient of mine recently alerted me to this exciting NY Times article that describes the admission process of Virginia Tech‘s medical school. Rather than the traditional interview questions about test scores and grades, this process is more like “speed dating,” in which candidates are randomly exposed to 8 standardized patients (actors) who each present a difficult clinical/ethical situation. Applicants are assessed based on their ability to productively and humanely interact with the “patients.”

I’ve long argued that the traditional process of choosing medical students selects for the wrong type of doctors-to-be; it prizes how you look on paper rather who you are, scores above substance.

This formula leads to lots of really smart doctors with good credentials but poor people skills. It leads to medical consultants, not healers, not partners in care. Read more.

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Obesity is a Disease. Really.

Originally published in The Huffington Post.

By now, virtually everyone reading this is familiar with the alarming stats on obesity rates and the health outcomes associated with excess weight. And by now, we’ve all had a chance to develop our own opinions about what obesity is and why most of us are getting fat. Here’s mine:

Obesity is a chronic medical condition – i.e., a disease. Read more

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PBS Roundtable

As part of a PBS Roundtable discussion on obesity, I was asked to share my thoughts on “junk food taxes.” This brief clip describes the many determinants, or factors, that go into our behaviors and choices. One of the key factors is cost. All else being equal, when something costs a relatively large amount, there is a lesser chance that we’ll spend our money on it; if it becomes cheaper, there is a greater likelihood that we’ll purchase it. This is “Economics 101.”   Read more