BATTLING OBESITY
Central Florida Health News|March 2021
Lakeland Regional Health Unveils New Weight Loss Institute
TERESA SCHIFFER

Polk County has a lot to be proud of — world-class citrus and cattle, beautiful scenery such as that found at Bok Tower Gardens, and Legoland, which is beloved by visitors from around the globe, plus so much more. Unfortunately, Polk County also has the distinction of being the most obese county in Florida, as well as among the top 10 most obese counties in the United States. The good news is that area medical professionals take this unpleasant superlative seriously. Lakeland Regional Health is committed to reducing our community’s obesity rate. To that end, a new Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Medicine has debuted in Lakeland.

With more than 70 percent of Polk County’s residents diagnosed as obese or overweight, Lakeland Regional Health’s new Institute is expected to be a great benefit to the region. Dr. Joseph Chebli is a bariatric surgeon and the Medical Director for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at Lakeland Regional Health. He took some time to talk with us about the goals of the Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Medicine, which officially opened in January at Lakeland Regional Health’s Grasslands Campus.

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