Business

Ground Floor: Cedar Rapids doctor offering different approach to weight loss

Physician wants to change how people are treated for obesity

Dr. Linda Hodges, DO stands next to old family photos in the meeting room at the newly opened Exceptional Weight Loss in Hiawatha on Monday, October 5, 2015. Dr. Hodges is board certified in obesity and weight loss medicine along with internal medicine and critical care medicine. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Dr. Linda Hodges, DO stands next to old family photos in the meeting room at the newly opened Exceptional Weight Loss in Hiawatha on Monday, October 5, 2015. Dr. Hodges is board certified in obesity and weight loss medicine along with internal medicine and critical care medicine. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Dr. Linda Hodges started her new weight loss clinic to right a wrong.

In 2011, Hodges was researching the impact of nutrition on health when she came to a shocking conclusion.

“I found that everything I've been taught about nutrition is wrong,” she said. “What people were being told to eat was not making them healthy, but was doing the exact opposite.”

Of particular concern were dietary guidelines that promoted low fat, high carbohydrate diets.

“The injustice of the whole thing was completely overwhelming,” she said. “People weren't losing weight, and we were assuming they were non-compliant when they were doing exactly what we we've been telling them to do.”

Hodges' discovery led her to augment her medical credentials — she is a graduate of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and a critical care medical practitioner — with a specialty in obesity and weight loss medicine. She achieved certification from the American Board of Obesity Medicine earlier this year.

In September, she founded Exceptional Health & Weight Loss Solutions to provide medically supervised weight loss services.

“I want to change how people are treated and seen for obesity,” she said.

An initial consultation at Hodges' Hiawatha clinic includes a thorough discussion of the patient's history and lifestyle factors, a medical examination, and body composition testing. Hodges then develops an individualized dietary treatment plan for each patient.

“I don't do cookbook weight loss,” she said. “Everyone who walks out of the door of this clinic will have a different plan.”

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Although she offers meal replacement products, generally to kick start a treatment plan, Hodges said her focus is on educating people on how to eat food that is obtained and prepared as naturally as possible.

“The majority of people I see I find just don't know how to eat,” she said. “They are influenced by the food industry and by ease and convenience and have lost sight of what real food is.”

Although Hodges currently maintains her critical care practice, which involves traveling about 10 days a month to medically underserved areas of the country, she eventually would like to cut back on her travel and focus exclusively on providing physician-assisted weight loss and obesity medicine in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.

“I love my critical care work, but I feel like I'm making the world a better place with what I'm doing here,” she said. “The clinic already has impacted the lives of people who have walked through the door.”

l Know a company or manager who has been in business for less than a year that would be ideal for “Ground Floor”? Contact Francie Williamson at francie.williamson@thegazette.com

At a Glance

  • Owner: Linda Hodges, DO
  • Business: Exceptional Health & Weight Loss Solutions, PLCAddress: 1350 Boyson Road, Building D, Suite 1, Hiawatha
  • Telephone: (319) 531-7989
  • Website: www.exceptionalweightloss.com

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