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Scott Kahan, M.D.
Scott Kahan, M.D., M.P.H. is a physician trained in both clinical medicine and public health. His clinical practice specializes in weight management and obesity medicine, and he is the Director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness.

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Kahan also works as a public health physician specializing in obesity policy. He serves as the Medical Director of George Washington University's Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (S.T.O.P.) Obesity Alliance, a collaboration of more than 80 organizations that drive innovative and practical strategies to address obesity. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Obesity Medicine, a national, independent, non-profit organization that certifies specialist physicians in obesity medicine. He has advised the White House, U.S. Congress, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Surgeon General, and has been involved in numerous national and local initiatives pertaining to obesity, nutrition, and chronic disease prevention, including the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and many health advocacy groups.

Dr. Kahan serves on the Faculty of the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He teaches several courses on obesity, nutrition, public health, and health behavior change to medical students, graduate students, and undergraduate students. He created and teaches the first course devoted to obesity and nutrition at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kahan has published 14 books in the fields of medicine, nutrition, and public health, and is the Editor-in-Chief of a series of medical texts that have been published internationally and translated into nine foreign languages. He serves as a scientific peer-reviewer for more than 30 academic journals and research organizations.

He regularly speaks at professional and public conferences and events, and is a frequent contributor to national and local media outlets, including USA Today, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, PBS, CBS radio, Fox News, Men’s Health, Self Magazine, The Atlantic, U.S. News and World Report, L.A. Times, and others. He has been nominated for the Robert Wood Johnson Young Leader award, and he has received numerous awards, including the Patients’ Choice award, and has been rated as the #1 Preventive Medicine physician in Washington, D.C. by

His website is

Entries by Scott Kahan, M.D.

The Perils of Obesity Prejudices

(6) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 7:03 PM

One of the most damaging aspects of obesity is the weight bias and stigma that is so pervasive in our thin-obsessed society.

Although modern societies approach prejudices as inherently evil threats to our fundamental human rights, weight stigma largely escapes this view. Indeed, obesity has been called...

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How to Talk About Obesity

(5) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 5:00 PM

A thoughtful article just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association compares the process of building proficiency in patient communication with surgery: both require a methodical approach that includes training, study, preparation, practice, and continual attention to improvement. Yet, while we intuitively appreciate the need to...

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United States of Obesity: How Are States Battling Bulging Health Costs?

(2) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 2:16 PM

There is no doubt that obesity remains a top health issue in the states as we enter 2013. According to the most recent "F as in Fat" report, a state-by-state obesity report card published by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, obesity costs the...

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The Dreaded Parent-Child Talk

(1) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 7:19 PM

We all dread the day our children come to us with that question... you know the one: "Mom, Dad, am I fat?"

Not the question you were thinking about? Or maybe, deep down, it was. According to a recent WebMD/Sanford Health survey, parents of teens said that...

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Measuring Kids BMIs Is Good Practice

(7) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 10:07 AM

My initial reaction to last week's announcement of a new Michigan policy to track kids' weight was emotional and negative. Indeed, so many recently publicized policies and prescriptions regarding weight seem to be uninformed and often stigmatizing toward people who have obesity. For example, there have been calls...

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The Good News About The Obesity Epidemic

(35) Comments | Posted September 17, 2011 | 10:47 AM

The CDC's recent report of the top 10 Public Health Achievements of the past decade overlooked one of the most important, in my opinion: Progress in the fight against obesity.

I bet you're surprised to read this. While there are many "no brainers" on the...

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The Individual Mandate and HPV Vaccine: Can You Say State Police Powers?

(76) Comments | Posted August 23, 2011 | 1:38 PM

Last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declared the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) invalid, and now some people are changing their bets about whether the Supreme Court will put the issue on its docket for next session.

But what no one is talking...

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Too Overweight for Medical Care?

(563) Comments | Posted June 10, 2011 | 1:44 PM

Recently, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that several area ob-gyn doctors are refusing to accept overweight women who are otherwise healthy as their patients. In defending their decision, the doctors cite concerns about potential complications in care, risk of malpractice suits and medical equipment that is not...

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Why Obesity Is a Disease

(362) Comments | Posted May 19, 2011 | 7:41 AM

By now, virtually everyone reading this is familiar with the alarming stats on obesity rates and the health outcomes associated with excess weight. And by now, we've all had a chance to develop our own opinions about what obesity is and why most of us are...

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