Commonly Asked Questions

Is Obesity a disease?

Yes. The American Medical Association (AMA) recognizes obesity as a disease. Please read the following article for more information:

What is an Obesity Medicine Specialist?

An Obesity Medicine Specialist is a physician who is board-certified in Obesity Medicine by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Obesity Medicine Specialists treat overweight and obesity as chronic metabolic conditions and manage chronic diseases associated with unhealthy weight.

The American Board of Obesity Medicine provides the following information on their website:

“An obesity medicine physician is a physician with expertise in the sub-specialty of obesity medicine. This sub-specialty requires competency in and a thorough understanding of the treatment of obesity and the genetic, biologic, environmental, social, and behavioral factors that contribute to obesity.”

Who will be managing my weight loss program?

Diana Pallin, MD

Dr. Diana Pallin is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine and is a member of the Obesity Medicine Association. She has been practicing Obesity Medicine since 2013.

"My interest in treating obesity started early on in medical school as many of my close family members were struggling to control their weight. Unfortunately, medical school and my residency program did not offer much in the way of nutrition and lifestyle medicine training. After completing my residency in Internal Medicine, I pursued further training in Obesity Medicine and incorporated the four pillars of medical weight management into my practice to help my patients lose and maintain a healthy weight. The four pillars of medical weight management include nutrition and exercise counseling, behavior modification, and prescribing FDA-approved anti-obesity medication.

Becoming an obesity medicine specialist allows me to help my patients lose weight, live healthier lives, and reduce the amount of prescription medication they take."

Rachel Im, NP

Rachel Im is a Family Nurse Practitioner who earned her Master’s degree at Thomas Jefferson School of Nursing. 

"I've always felt modern medicine over-prescribes medications to treat disorders, which lead to side effects requiring a chain of further medications. While the medical field is aware of the health risks of using of multiple drugs to treat a single condition, it often seems inevitable.

New Start Medical has given me a path to pursue true preventive medicine. I am able to focus on treating our patients with nutritional and lifestyle changes, while limiting medications required.  I see real outcomes in weight loss, treatment of disorders, and most importantly, I see our patients get back their healthy lives.  

Sarah Yoon, PA-C

Sarah Yoon is a Physician Assistant who graduated from South University. She began her career in hospital medicine, however quickly saw that there was a lack of opportunity for her to forge closer relationships with her patients. She developed a passion for counseling her patients and realized she can better serve in this capacity in an outpatient setting.

Sarah joined New Start Medical in 2017 where she focuses on managing metabolic conditions associated with overweight and obesity. She finds fulfillment in guiding her patients to prioritize healthy living through both dietary and lifestyle changes. To help further her patients, she is currently in the process of obtaining her certification in Obesity Medicine. During her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her dog and travelling.

How will I pay for the weight loss program? Is this program expensive?

A recent George Washington University study measured the costs of being overweight or obese and concluded that the “overall, tangible, annual costs of being obese are $4,879 for an obese woman and $2,646 for an obese man.” (

A 2013 US News and World Report article found that the average gym cost $55 per month and the average weight loss program cost $270 to $300 per month with some programs costing more. (

New Start Medical’s weight loss and wellness programs are individualized, which means that they will vary according to the needs of each patient. Typical out-of-pocket costs for New Start Medical’s weight loss and wellness programs will be about the same or even less than for a commercial weight loss program, especially if your medical care is covered by insurance or Medicare. New Start Medical offers self-pay patients affordable pricing and accepts private insurance and Medicare patients. Also, no long-term contracts are required.

What are some common medical conditions that can be improved by losing weight?

Obesity is one of the leading contributing factors to disease in America. Obese patients are at an increased risk for developing medical problems. Typical comorbidities, or associated diseases, related to being obese include:

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • Hypertension/high blood pressure

  • Dyslipidemia/high cholesterol

  • Hepatosteatosis/fatty liver – one of the main causes of cirrhosis in the United States

  • Cardiovascular diseases

  • Stroke

  • Sleep apnea

  • Neuropsychiatric diseases, such as worsening depression

  • Asthma

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Reflux esophagitis

  • Increased surgical risk and postoperative complications

  • Infertility

  • Certain cancers, including colorectal and prostate cancer in men and endometrial, breast and gallbladder cancer in women

How often do I need to come to New Start Medical for treatment?

Programs are individualized according to each patient’s needs and goals. Success in our program is strongly related to close monitoring by your New Start Medical physician. Our staff will work closely with you to determine the optimal frequency and number of visits to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight while minimizing disruption to your daily life.

What medications do you use as appetite suppressants?

When indicated, we prescribe FDA-approved medications. They are safe and effective when used as prescribed by a physician.