Health Team

Duke center tackles obesity with healthy lifestyle

Posted January 18, 2012

— Like many people, Russell Brooks, 39, found success with diets until he gained the weight back.

"You get tired of eating the same food," Brooks said. "I got to the point where I didn't feel like I had any hope of losing the weight." 

Researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control analyzed and compared obesity data over a 12-year period and found no significant changes in the prevalence of obesity in the country. About one in three adults and one in six children or teens still have a body mass index of 30 or greater.

"I suppose, you might derive some small comfort if the rates aren't relentlessly climbing," said Dr. Howard Eisenson, medical director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center.

Eisenson helps clients like Brooks get off the diet treadmill by simply changing the way they think. 

"The reality is, adopting healthier habits for life means changing your lifestyle," Eisenson said. 

Since Brooks started the residency program at the center a month ago, he has lost 25 pounds. He goes to cooking and nutrition classes and gets plenty of exercise.

"We've been fairly successful in the U.S. with turning back the tide of smoking, but it's taken a long time to do it. It's taken some creative solutions. (It's the) same with obesity and low fitness," Eisenson said. 


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  • Hammerhead Jan 19, 2012

    I haven't belonged to a gym in my life. There's a lot of fun stuff to do outside that is very invigorating and healthy and you can do alone...walking, gardening, yardwork, cycling. The list is endless. Eat properly and don't deprive yourself of treats. The myth that food that tastes good is bad for you is a total pile of baloney, pun intended.

  • MarvinsWife12 Jan 19, 2012

    Too bad it is so darn expensive, even for Duke employees, to use this center.