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Center’s New Name Reflects Goal of Lifelong Change

January 25, 2021

The Duke Diet and Fitness Center will now be called the Duke Lifestyle and Weight Management Center. The center’s director explains why the new name more accurately represents his team’s holistic approach to health.

At the Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center, we are working on lifelong lifestyle changes with our patients.

Darla Olson has lost 80 pounds in one year. She’s traded breakfast biscuits for fruit and yogurt parfaits. She’s walked five miles daily. And she’s embarked on her weight loss journey with Duke Health’s Will Yancy, MD. “Will is personable and educates me about food in a way that is clear cut, not confusing,” Olson said. “He holds me accountable and now I find that I hold myself accountable, too.”

Yancy is the program director of the Duke Lifestyle and Weight Management Center, formerly known as the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. The center marked its 50th anniversary in 2020. The new name better represents the center’s philosophy and services.

“Diets are temporary, not continuous,” Yancy said. “We are working on lifelong lifestyle changes with our patients. And the new name reflects that.”

Over its five decades, the center has grown from a residential program to an outpatient clinic. And the services offered have expanded as well. The center is staffed with team members including clinicians trained in obesity medicine, dietitians, behavioral health professionals, exercise physiologists and personal trainers. The center also falls under the umbrella of Duke Health and Well-being, meaning patients also have access to integrative medicine techniques including meditation, acupuncture and massage. Additionally, the center’s space is shared with Duke Physical Therapy, and the two groups work synergistically to improve the health, mobility and quality of life for Duke patients.

“We’re helping people change their lifestyle using fitness, nutrition, and medical and behavioral strategies,” Yancy said. “We focus on weight management and all of the benefits associated with it.”

And the correlation between weight and illness is great. Obesity can lead to diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease and GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Weight loss can have a huge impact on these conditions. In fact, Yancy said diabetes and sleep apnea can fully resolve in some cases.

“What keeps me going every day are those moments when you help a patient come off of daily medication and they gain their independence,” he said.

About the Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center

Duke weight management specialists counsel and oversee non-surgical treatments to help you change your eating habits, adopt healthy lifestyle habits, lose weight, and maintain your weight loss. We have been helping people successfully lose weight, manage medical conditions, and transform their lives for more than 50 years. Here’s how we can help you live a healthy, active, fulfilling life.

  • We work with you through virtual and in-person appointments to help you identify and achieve realistic weight loss goals.
  • We customize our treatment recommendations to your individual needs and preferences.
  • We offer all of our services – medical weight management, nutrition, behavioral health, and exercise guidance – using a convenient and comprehensive approach.
  • Our experts work closely together to provide the proper guidance and support to help you in your weight and health journey.

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