Kaiser Permanente Hawaii announced today that Peggy Latare, MD, has received her Achievement of Diplomate from the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), becoming the first physician in Hawaii, and among the first in the nation, to become certified in treating people for obesity.
“Many Americans, including Hawaii residents, are struggling to find the adequate support and successful interventions they need to lose weight and improve their health,” said Dr. Latare. “A medical specialty in obesity allows me to enhance my efforts in helping people identify the right combination of diet, exercise, behavior change, and medical treatments to reach their healthy weight.”
Dr. Latare specializes in family medicine and has been with Kaiser Permanente since 1989. She is the physician co-lead for the organization’s Bariatric Surgery Program and assistant associate medical director for Patient-Clinician Communication. She is double-board certified in family medicine and obesity medicine, and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Hawaii Academy of Family Physicians. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her doctorate from the university’s School of Medicine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, among Hawaii residents 18 years and older, 56.4 percent were overweight (Body Mass Index of 25 or greater) and 22.7 percent were obese (Body Mass Index of 30 or greater). And, among Hawaii’s adolescents in grades 9 through 12, 14 percent were overweight and 14.5 percent were obese.
“With improvements in research, treatment and prevention, it is the goal of Kaiser Permanente and many in the obesity community to improve the quality of life for those struggling with the disease,” added Dr. Latare.
With nearly two-thirds of Americans considered overweight (33.3 percent) or obese (35.9 percent), the health care community is placing more emphasis on medical interventions to support those affected with this disease. Obesity is associated with multiple health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer, and can have a profound impact on the quality of life and work productivity of those affected. According to The Medical Care Costs of Obesity, a report by Cornell University researchers, today, it is estimated that the annual cost of managing obesity in the U.S. alone amounts to approximately $190.2 billion per year, or 20.6 percent of national health expenditures.
“It is with great pride that we announce the addition of Dr. Latare to the prestigious group of ABOM diplomats,” said The Obesity Society President, Harvey Grill, PhD. “This groundbreaking achievement reflects a much-needed commitment to helping the millions of Americans affected by obesity. To become one of the first ABOM-certified physicians in the nation is truly an accomplishment.”
The ABOM created the first Obesity Medicine Certification exam in the U.S. in 2012. As part of the process to becoming an ABOM diplomate, an applicant must complete the requisite training and experience qualifications, meet the continuing medical education requisites, and pass a stringent certification examination.
Submitted by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii 

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