Dr. Vinod Dhurandhar, India’s First Obesity Doctor
In 1962, Dr. Vinod Dhurandhar opened his obesity practice in the Bandra suburb of Mumbai on S.V. road. It was a small, borrowed space inside of a clinic owned by a dentist friend. It was the beginning of an illustrious career that has spanned six decades and 150,000 cases.
Dr. Vinod was trained to be a pediatrician. For most of his life, he had obesity. Although a very active person – Badminton champion of his medical college – he weighed 100kg at a height of 5’7″. After medical school, day by day, his difficulties with weight increased and his asthma worsened. A medical school teacher suggested to Dr. Vinod that he might benefit from weight loss. So he started many diets and experiments on himself. Finally, he succeeded from coming down from 100kg to 64kg, and keeping it off. That’s when it occurred to him that instead of focusing on pediatrics, he thought maybe he can give the benefit of that knowledge to others by starting that practice since he had discovered how to diet.
When Dr. Vinod started his practice, many people didn’t even know the meaning of the word obesity. He was often confused for an obstetrician. Over time, as the obesity disease increased in magnitude in India, people learned what it meant, and Dr. Vinod was there to help. He treated 150,000 cases before his retirement. He is the Founder-President of the All India Association for Research in Obesity, which has taken root throughout the country.
Dr. Vinod is a true pioneer of the field of obesity. He was far ahead of his time in designing weight loss approach. Most of the practices he developed are today practiced in the U.S. as methodologies for weight loss.
Although Dr. Vinod Dhurandhar is retired, at Dhurandhar Weight Management we are grateful and proud to continue his pioneering legacy through the truly novel ways we help individuals with weight.
Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, Weight Management Consultant
Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar is a U.S.-based researcher today, but he started his career in a very different place. In 1983, he was an eager new physician ready to start medical practice. Throughout childhood, he had heard from his father (Dr. Vinod Dhurandhar) about how people with obesity were abused, tricked, and fooled by quackery. People desperate to lose weight were being misled, and the only things getting thinner were their wallets. Following his father’s footsteps, he decided to become a bariatric physician and learned from his father.
After making a breakthrough discovery – discovering the first virus in history that was associated with human obesity – he moved to America in 1992 to continue research. He is considered the “founding father” of the field of Infectobesity (obesity of infectious origin).
He is currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA and a Past President of The Obesity Society for 2014-2015. Past appointments include:
- John Henry Hernandez Endowed Professor and Chief of the Infection and Obesity Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.
- William Hardy Endowed Chair in Obesity Research at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
- Executive Director of the Rochester Center for Obesity Research and Treatment, Rochester Hills, Michigan, U.S.A.
Dr. Emily Dhurandhar, Weight Management Consultant
Dr. Emily Dhurandhar is an obesity researcher from Texas, U.S.A. She is Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, U.S.A. She studies the connection between eating patterns and body weight change. Her findings on the impact of eating breakfast on weight loss prompted the U.S. Surgeon General to change their recommendations on breakfast.
In her capacity as Chairperson of The Obesity Society’s Advocacy Committee for the last three years, she has worked with legislators in Washington D.C. and around the country to improve access to evidence-based treatment for obesity in this role.
Dr. Dhurandhar has a B.S. in Human Nutrition from Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. in Human and Molecular Nutrition from Louisiana State University and conducted her research training at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She completed a prestigious National Institute of Health postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Nutrition Obesity Research Center. She also held an Assistant Professorship in the Office of Energetics and Department of Health Behavior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Richard Atknison, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Richard Atkinson graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond. He took residency and fellowship training in Endocrine-Metabolism at UCLA Harbor General Hospital, Torrance, California, and fellowship training in Endocrine-Metabolism at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He has been on the faculty of the University of Virginia; University of California, Davis; Eastern Virginia Medical School; and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences. He is currently Affiliate Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University; Adjunct Professor of Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, University of Karachi, Pakistan; Visiting Professor of Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Chief Scientific Officer for Obesity PPM, Arlington, VA; Executive Director of the Virginia Obesity Research Institute; Medical Director, Veracis Laboratory; and President of Obetech, LLC, all of Richmond, VA.
He is Editor of the International Journal of Obesity and of Nutrition and Diabetes; Past President and Co-Founder of the American Obesity Association, Past President of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (The Obesity Society), Past President of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and former Member, Board of Trustees, World Obesity Federation.
NAASO-The Obesity Society established the annual Richard Atkinson-Judith Stern Public Service Award in 2006 to honor his service to the field of obesity and he received the 2014 Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award from TOS. Dr. Atkinson has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, National Academy of Sciences, US Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, and numerous companies and foundations. He has been involved in obesity research and treatment for over 40 years. He is interested in obesity policy and has advocated for young investigator programs nationally and internationally. His research interests include causes and treatments of obesity, particularly obesity drugs and obesity surgery. Recently, his research has focused on virus-induced obesity. He and his research group demonstrated that a human adenovirus (Adv36) produces obesity in animals and is associated with obesity in humans. Dr. Atkinson has over 200 publications and over 250 abstracts in the medical literature.
Dr. Leah Whigham, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Leah Whigham is the Executive Director of the Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living, a multi-Institutional effort to increase healthy eating and active living in southern New Mexico, far west Texas, and Ciudad Juarez. The work of the Institute includes building the capacity of the medical/health care sector in the region to effectively deal with obesity, as well as using evidence-based mixed-strategy solutions to promote healthy eating and active living.
Dr. Whigham also has appointments at University of Texas at El Paso,
Texas Tech Paul L Foster School of Medicine, and University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health. She is on the editorial board for Nutrition and Diabetes; and has been a guest editor for the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
Her research interests have ranged from basic to clinical to community and have included effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on immune function and body composition; investigations of the molecular mechanisms involved in virally-induced obesity; energy expenditure mechanisms involved with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity, as well as development of a new approach for modeling the metabolic dynamics of complex diseases; development of biofeedback methods for weight loss using naturally occurring stable isotopes; and approaches for decreasing excessive gestational weight gain in obese pregnant women.
Dr. Whigham has a B.S. in biochemistry from Iowa State University, a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a Fellow of The Obesity Society (FTOS).
Mrs. Amita Quenim, Scientific Advisor
Mrs. Amita Quenim is a practicing Clinical Psychologist. She works with individual clients in a wide variety of areas, and specializes in academic issues related to children as well as areas of weight management at her wellness clinic in Goa, India.
Mrs. Quenim is currently an appointee of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry on its State Coordination Committee for Juvenile Justice. She serves on the advisory board of the Manipal health and Education Society, and is a past Jury Member for the Children’s Court, Goa. She has also served as a counselor for the National Association for Blind, and a Counselor for The Women & Children Cell in Goa.
To spread awareness about mental health and well-being, she writes articles for newspapers and magazines from Goa and Mumbai.
Dr. Holly Davis, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Holly Davis is a Counseling Psychologist providing clinical, training, and outreach services at The Ohio State University (OSU). She currently serves as chairperson of the OSU Eating Disorder Treatment Team, and provides therapy for a variety of mental health concerns, including outpatient eating disorder treatment for OSU students. In addition to eating disorders, her professional interests include college mental health, body image, size diversity, and weight stigma, and she has a passion for promoting body positivity. Her research background focused on experiences of body size/weight-related bias and oppression, which informs her work with individuals across the body size continuum.
In addition to providing therapy services, Dr. Davis is enthusiastic about the power of training, outreach programming, and prevention efforts to strengthen wellness and reduce stigma. She is a member of the OSU Body Image and Health Taskforce, serves as a liaison to the OSU Dance Department, and regularly provides clinical supervision to mental health trainees, including graduate students and fellows. She is also a member of the American Psychological Association, Division 17: Society of Counseling Psychology.
Dr. Davis completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Grand Valley State University, followed by a master’s degree in Counseling and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University, with a cognate/focus on diversity issues in counseling. She completed her doctoral internship at the University of Michigan, with a concentration in college mental health and eating disorder treatment.