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Weight Loss May Become A Medical Specialty

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Aired 1/21/10

Doctors who treat obesity in San Diego and across the country are working toward making weight loss and weight management a medical specialty.

— Doctors who treat obesity in San Diego and across the country are working toward making weight loss and weight management a medical specialty.

Dr. Ken Fujioka is the director of the Center for Weight Management at Scripps Clinic. He's one of a team of physicians working to create a certification program for doctors who want to treat obesity.

Obesity specialists say most doctors know very little about treating obesity, despite the fact that two-thirds of adults today are overweight.

Research into causes and cures have made the field quite complex. Treating patients may involved stomach surgery to control the appetite. It may also involve the use of a growing list of medications that mimic or alter the effects of hormones, which tell the brain whether the body is sated or hungry.

Fujioka and others are creating an exam that doctors would take to become certified to treat obesity. The American Board of Medical Specialties would ultimately determine whether treating obesity will become a specialty.

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