Dr. Lori Teeple sheds light on the disease of overweight while helping patients learn self-management skills

Working as an emergency medicine physician, Dr. Lori Teeple experienced a chance encounter that forever changed her perspective on preventive health. From that moment, about seven years ago, she began learning about healthy diet and exercise not only as a means to help the patients in her care but as a way of life for herself.  

With limited time and resources, Dr. Teeple recognized that she could only do so much one on one coaching with those patients who struggle with chronic disease resulting from overweight.

Instead she put together materials and ideas, gathered her coaching tools and life style change strategies and compiled them into a workbook, Over Weight is a Disease: A Canadian Doctor’s Prescription for Self-Management. The workbook allows patients to learn self-management skills and not short lived fads.

“The workbook has been a godsend to many of the patients in our family health team and the broader community,” said Teeple.

The book is a “non-profit” endeavor intended to help physicians and allied health workers provide an evidence-based tool to their patients based on the medical model of disease treatment.

Dr. Teeple hopes that by seeing overweight as a disease we can move it from the realm of shame and blame and self-judgement into one of hope and healing and lifelong behaviour change.

Dr. Lori Teeple is an associate professor of Medicine and Family Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University where she is an award winning teacher. She has been a family and emergency medicine physician for over 25 years and lectures nationally and internationally. Her passion for preventive medicine through healthy lifestyle arises from this work and from her own long term battle with “the disease of overweight."

The workbook is available at www.friesenpress.com