eMindful Inc and Bariatric Partners, Inc Announce Pilot of Mindful Eating Bariatric Program Developed by Duke Integrative Medicine

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Bariatric surgeries, commonly known as weight loss surgery, may refer to either gastric bypass or lap-band surgeries. Bariatric surgery has been demonstrated to be the most effective weight loss tool available for morbid obesity, however, for long term success, bariatric patients must sustain major changes in behaviors and cope with significant physical, psychological, and social issues. Biobehavioral medicine and, specifically those approaches incorporating mindfulness practices, have shown considerable promise in treating binge eating and other problems related to obesity such as elevated blood pressure, increased blood glucose and insulin resistance, depression, anxiety, and psychophysiological components of addiction. eMindful Inc, a web based mindfulness training resource, and Bariatric Partners and JourneyLite, a network of specialized outpatient weight loss surgical facilities, will pilot the 13-week Mindful Eating for Bariatric Patients program, live and online in a virtual classroom, beginnning June 2008.

We are very pleased to be able to offer the Mindful Eating for Bariatric Patients pilot to our patients

Bariatric Partners, Inc and JourneyLite, a fast growing network of specialized outpatient weight loss surgical facilities, and eMindful Inc, a web-based mindfulness training resource, are planning a pilot of the Mindful Eating for Bariatric Patients program developed by researchers at Duke Integrative Medicine. By offering the Duke program via the Internet, JourneyLite is looking to further its commitment to providing excellent support in the three essential educational areas of a successful weight loss surgical program: behavior modification, diet, and exercise.

Weight loss surgery patients must make significant changes to their diets and exercise habits in order to optimize their results and patients are not always offered structured techniques to help them address and change habitual eating behaviors after surgery. Upon successful completion of this pilot program with eMindful, Bariatric Partners and JourneyLite will offer cutting edge online weight management tools and support to their bariatric patients nationwide in a live, virtual classroom leveraging the NIH-sponsored mindful eating research done at Duke Integrative Medicine.

Bariatric surgeries, commonly known as weight loss surgery, may refer to either gastric bypass or lap-band surgeries. Patients suffering from morbid obesity, defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or over, are likely candidates for bariatric surgery. There are more than 11 million morbidly obese people in the United States alone. Bariatric surgery has been demonstrated to be the most effective weight loss tool available for morbid obesity; in fact, such surgeries rose nearly 10-fold between 1993 (approximately 16,800 surgeries) and 2006 (an estimated 177,600 surgeries).

However, for long term success, bariatric patients must sustain major changes in behaviors and cope with significant physical, psychological, and social issues. Biobehavioral medicine and, specifically those approaches incorporating mindfulness practices, have shown considerable promise in treating binge eating and other problems related to obesity such as elevated blood pressure, increased blood glucose and insulin resistance, depression, anxiety, and psychophysiological components of addiction.

"Mindfulness training helps people become more aware of their choices, thoughts, feelings and habitual eating patterns," says Kelley McCabe, founder of eMindful, who has used mindfulness principles herself to lose more than 50 pounds and keep it off. "It helps break the cycle of self-criticism that can feed habitual eating and reduces stress, which is an integral component of overeating and bingeing."

Bariatric Partners, Inc has 5 bariatric surgical centers performing several hundred surgeries per year across the U.S. and growing rapidly. Initially, 15 patients will be selected to participate in the Mindful Eating for Bariatric Patients (MEBP) program. Bariatric Partners and JourneyLite hopes to provide this service to all of its bariatric patients upon successful conclusion of the pilot.

"We are very pleased to be able to offer the Mindful Eating for Bariatric Patients pilot to our patients," says Bariatric Partners, Inc's Chief Operating Officer, Cynthia Winker. "Bariatric Partners, Inc and our surgeons at JourneyLite understand that providing behavioral education to our patient population, in combination with our effective laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) procedure, offers patients the greatest benefit from their bariatric surgery. We know from industry research that participation in a program such as MEBP can improve bariatric patients' outcomes and overall success. By working with eMindful and the Duke program, we are taking the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery's guidelines recommending psycho-education to the next level - by directly offering a program to enhance our bariatric patients' mindful eating skills."

eMindful Inc was founded in 2007 and offers several online mindfulness courses for a variety of weight control issues. All courses are taught in real time. Several of the interactive classes offer CMEs for physicians and CEUs for nurses.

Other programs include:

  •      Chocolate and Mindfulness!? - After an unmarked taste test of three famous types of gourmet chocolate, participants discover why they eat and ways to curb cravings and indulgences.
  •      Forgive for Good, taught by Dr. Fred Luskin, author of a book by the same name, helps participants develop forgiveness skills.
  •     Mind-Body MAX taught by Dr. Roger Jahnke, author of The Healing Power of Qi.

Bariatric Partners, Inc is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a national for-profit healthcare company that specializes in partnering with leading bariatric surgeons across the country to provide minimally invasive surgical treatment for the disease of obesity. Bariatric Partners, Inc, along with its physician partners, owns and operates specialty ambulatory surgical centers - branded under the name JourneyLite - in key markets across the United States. All JourneyLite facilities focus primarily on the laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) surgical procedure for the treatment of obesity. Further information about Bariatric Partners, Inc may be found online at http://www.bariatricpartners.com. Information about JourneyLite facilities across the U.S. can be found at http://www.journeylite.com .

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Kelley McCabe

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