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 a Bariatrician?

A Bariatrician is a physician who is board-certified in Obesity Medicine by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. 

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?

Dr. Diana Pallin is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine and is a member of the Obesity Medicine Association.

"My interest in treating obesity started early on in medical school as many of my close family members were struggling with excess weight. Unfortunately medical school and my residency program did not offer much in the way of nutrition and life style changes training. 

After completing my residency in Internal Medicine, I pursued further training in Obesity Medicine and nutrition.  Becoming an obesity medicine specialist allows me to help my patients lose weight, live healthier lives, reduce the amount of prescription medication they take and help to prevent them from developing medical conditions strongly related to unhealthy weight."

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.