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Obesity is a Serious Disease that Cannot be Forgotten Over Holidays

obesity is a serious disease
“I was asked by an overweight patient if she could stop her Smart for Life® Cookie Diet over the holidays.  I explained that many people do not realize that obesity is a serious disease with serious consequences,” Dr. Sasson Moulavi, a Board Certified Bariatric Physician explains.

 As Americans gear up for the holiday season this month,  Dr. Sass cautions that overweight and obese patients not give in to temptation and forget their dieting.  Rather, Dr. Sass, founder of the Smart for Life® Cookie Diet, recommends alternative behavior for a positive outcome when it is time to ring in the New Year.

According to Dr. Moulavi, forty pounds of extra fat on your body does not just sit there.  It releases toxins and creates inflammation.  It also covers your heart and blocks blood vessels that supply your brain and heart.

“My worry is that if we don’t begin treating obesity as a serious disease, it will become out of control and a leading killer.  An example to my point:  If someone had a cancerous tumor that could eventually kill her, would she stop chemotherapy for the holidays?  Doctors most likely would not recommend it.  If someone stopped cancer treatment for Thanksgiving, we physicians would consider them mentally unstable and hospitalize them.  Yet so many people stop their dieting or hold off on their current program like the Smart for Life® Cookie Diet over the holidays in order to ‘participate’ in the festivities – which is unfortunate.”

In a country where almost 50% of the population is obese or overweight, Moulavi notices more and more Americans stopping treatment for this killer disease.  Instead, he strongly suggests that those affected begin to take charge and fight back.  Dr. Sass suggests thinking of fat cells as a slow growing cancer that must be treated until it is controlled.

This holiday season, Dr. Moulavi recommends that if plans focus around overindulgence, the result may be feeding the fat cells which in turn will increase the size of the “tumor”.  Ultimately, the answer is to continue on the plan.  Continue to treat obesity as a serious disease so many more holidays are enjoyed for years to come.


Keep Treating this Serious Disease

Smart for Life cookie diet is a comprehensive weight management approach to health and wellness which utilizes natural, hunger-controlling foods to deliver visible weight loss results.  If you or a family member is troubled by this serious disease, don’t wait to fight back!



Parents had better get a back bone if they want healthy kids!

Parents had better get a back bone if they want healthy kids!

Parents have become wimps ruled by their kids when it comes to food choices.  Recently in my office, I saw an overweight 12-year-old girl whose concerned parents brought her in because she was 30 pounds overweight and complaining of fatigue. What amazed me most was that during the consultation this child turned to her parents and basically told them that she will decide what to eat and what to buy, and they can’t do anything about it.  Then she left the center and her parents could not get her back in.

Of course, this is an extreme example, but I have seen it too many times.  Parents come in with good intentions and their kids overpower them with aggressive, degrading speech.  More often than not, the parents just sit there without any significant or meaningful response. I also see it in the shopping carts of parents when buying high fat, high sugar foods to please their kids.  They are simply unable to say ‘No’ to their kids when it comes to these poor food choices.

It seems as if everyone is working against the parents: the big food companies are brainwashing them and their children.  Parents are afraid of controlling their children because they do not want to be called an ‘abuser’.  This fear has been perpetuated by the media who focus on those rare cases where good parents are accused by a state agency.

Parents must get over this and learn to say ‘No’ to poor quality food.  If you have to put it back on the shelf or leave it at the checkout counter, be strong, don’t bring it home.  Remember, if it gets into your home, it will get into your children.

Another observation, I have watched parents at popular coffee shops be manipulated by 9-year-old children who insist on having a 1000 calorie drink, full of fat and empty calories, and double the price of healthy alternatives.

Enough already!  Just say ‘No’ – the sooner you start the better.  Yes, there will be a tough week or two but stick to your guns and remain firm.  Your healthy kids will thank you when they are older.  I have seen too many overweight, depressed teenagers.  Trust me, the pain from being overweight and depressed at 17 is much greater than not having a sugary drink for a week at the age of 9.

Here are some games/quizzes to share with your kids to start the conversation and introduce new “rules” to the family.   Of course, on-going parenting will continually be necessary from teaching kids about good nutrition and choices to be made.

  • Explain the food groups for adequate growth and ask where their favorite foods fall.
  • Show the kids the nutrition panels of foods to compare calories, fat, sugars, sodium – that alone may prompt them to make a healthier choice.  Arm them with the information and then they will be able to be in control.  Rarely will a kid seriously choose something unhealthy when given the information.  If they do…put your foot down and tell them that you will not allow it.
  • Allow occasional splurges but let the kids earn them and have them keep track of how many per day.  Just cutting back on 1-2 per day will be a start in the right direction.
  • For smaller children, be the family’s “Healthy Hero” and challenge them to pick nutritious choices in a fun, light manner.

Keep an eye out for a FREE educational video I am creating especially for parents that will be on  I think it will help some parents improve their parenting skills and stand up to their kids.

Be strong, it’s good to say ‘No’ to your kids when they make poor choices. Healthy kids means healthy adults; what better life lesson than creating healthy eating habits?

Happy New Year!


Smart for Life Healthy Kids

healthy kids

Dr. Sass
Sasson Moulavi, M.D., LMCC, ABBM
Medical Director
Smart For Life Cookie Diet
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Don’t Spend The Holiday’s in the Emergency Room

Emergency RoomIf you are overweight, you are at risk of spending your holidays in the emergency room.

Many people who overindulge during the holidays get the following symptoms:

Chest pain:  You will never know if it is a heart attack until you go to the ER for an EKG and blood work.  But you will spend at least 12 hours at the ER worrying about whether you are dying or not.  And don’t forget, the family at home who will stop celebrating and start worrying.

Abdominal pain:  It could be gallstones–another common reason for ER visits.  You will spend 4 to 6 hours waiting for blood work and an ultrasound.  If you do have gallstones, you will be enjoying a side of surgery with your Thanksgiving turkey.

Gout:  Also known as a dreaded, painful disease.  If you are lucky, you will spend just 2 to 3 hours getting a prescription for medication. The pain will surely ruin your appetite for any desserts for at least a day or two.

 When I worked at the ER, the holidays always brought these kinds of cases in.  I remember one case where a 40-year old, overweight man came in with his wife because he was suffering from chest pain.  It ended up just being gas, but it surely destroyed their holiday.  The amazing part was that his older brother was having the dessert in the waiting room!  The brother also developed chest pain and ended up having a real heart attack.  Thankfully it was mild and he survived.  Are these the memories you want to remember for your family holidays?

Keep in mind that a big meal requires a lot of blood to be diverted to your intestinal system for digestion.  This puts stress on your heart, which substantially increases the risk of a heart attack.

 Take home message – if you do not want a side of ER with your holiday dinner, follow these simple guidelines:

 1)    Eat a small amount of food; stop when you are no longer hungry.

 2)    Teach yourself self-discipline and do not overeat the one food you really enjoy.

 3)    Do not drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks.

 4)    Eat slowly over time and drink lots of water

 5)    If you are overweight, you are at risk.  Be extra careful.

 6)    Learn to say “NO, THANK YOU.”

 7)    Instead of lounging on the couch, get the family active with a walk around the block, a game of catch or even charades to keep the body moving.

Have a great holiday, enjoy your families and make memories you want to have for years to come.

Dr. Sass
Sasson Moulavi, M.D., LMCC, ABBM
Medical Director
Smart For Life Cookie Diet

Smartening Up About Weight Loss

By Sasson Moulavi - October 24, 2007

Smart Weight Loss Advice

weight loss dietMunching on cookies is usually not the advice you get when you want to drop a few pounds, but that’s the approach taken at Smart for Life Weight Management Centers.

We’re not talking about Chips Ahoy here. Dieters are put on a regimen of nutritionally balanced meal replacement products, the most popular of which is the Smart Cookie, which comes in chocolate, chocolate raspberry, cinnamon, oatmeal raisin, pińa colada, banana, and… pizza flavors. Made with all natural and organic ingredients.

Patients eat six cookies per day — or a combination of other Smart for Life products, such as specially prepared shakes, muffins and soups — and have a high protein, low fat supper in the evening.

“The cookies train your body to eat small multiple meals throughout the day” says Tina Di Salvia, director of the two Smart for Life centers on the island.

“But the important part that people have to remember is that you will not be hungry whatsoever with these cookies. You have a cookie and a glass of water. The combination of both, with the protein, the fibre, the amino acids [in the cookie], and the water, fills you up.”

The physician-monitored program emphasizes a one-on-one approach and Smart for Life patients lose an average of 12 to 15 pounds every four weeks.

Mix 96 radio host Cat Spencer took the Smart for Life weight loss challenge and, since September, has lost 28 pounds “and counting” on his 6’4” frame.

“The day before I started I was very nervous and thought about backing out because I love food and thought it was going to be impossible to change my ways,” says Spencer.

The experience was easier than expected, and Spencer says it shed light on some his bad eating habits. “I now really do believe I had some sort of sugar addiction. I loved sweets and snacking, but within two days of starting the program I lost all cravings for anything sweet.” he says.

Assistant investment advisor Annie Koutrakis learned the hard way that the trickiest part of losing weight is keeping the bad calorie-laden habits at bay. She joined the Smart for Life program three years ago but, like many a dieter, managed to lose the weight only to gain it all back in the coming years.

“I had good results, but unfortunately I didn’t follow their suggestions in their maintenance plan, so I found myself a few years later having put on all the weight. In February I decided to go back.”

Forty pounds lighter these days, Koutrakis is now in the second month of her three-month maintenance plan, and is learning what her food boundaries are.

“[The first time around], I didn’t watch my portions. I didn’t watch my carbs. I have a problem with carbohydrates. I have to know that I can never have a plate of pasta as my main meal. It has to be a quarter of the plate.”

“Patients who follow the maintenance program will keep their weight off” says Tina. “Consumers Choice Award 2007”.

Smart for Life has two locations on the island of Montreal: 5180 Queen Mary Rd., suite 410, tel. 514-489-8840; and in Pierrefonds on 4877 St. Charles Blvd., tel. 514-626-1555.

40 centers across the United States & Canada.

By Anna Bratulic – The Suburban October 24, 2007

Boca Raton Doctor and Wife Team Helps Clients Lose Weight Safely

Boca Raton Doctor at SmartforLife®

Boca Raton DoctorFor more than four years Boca Raton doctor Dr. Sasson Moulavi and wife Renata have helped thousands of clients lose tens of thousands of pounds. Their Smart for Life™ Weight Management Center on Glades Road has attracted all types of clients throughout South Florida.

Renata Moulavi, who supervises the Boca center says, “Some of our clients are looking to lose just ten to fifteen pounds and some want to lose as much as fifty or more pounds, we help them lose the weight with our program. The diet is very simple – six cookies throughout the day, eight glasses of water or other no calorie drinks and a low fat protein dinner consisting of six ounces of fish, chicken, turkey or shellfish and two vegetables. With this program they can lose as much as twelve to fifteen pounds a month.”

The cookies, which come in five flavors, are exclusively available at Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers. The cookies are full of nutrients, amino acids, and fiber which suppress hunger while still supplying the body with the protein it needs. They are also all-natural, with organic ingredients and have no chemical appetite suppressants or artificial sweeteners. Clients that found Dr. Sass by looking for a Boca Raton doctor praise the diet for its excellent hunger control and rapid weight loss. “I lost one hundred twenty-five pounds so far, with another twenty-five to my goal weight. The doctors and staff at the center are caring, friendly, encouraging and I refer my clients to them all the time,” says Ralph Ruggiero, Delray Beach Moda Salon III.

Work With a Boca Raton Doctor That Specializes In Weight Loss

According to Dr. Moulavi, “We medically supervise patients throughout the weight loss process and work closely with their primary care physician which helps them make positive changes in their lives by helping them reach and maintain their weight loss goals. We also address issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes – hopefully decreasing, and in some cases eliminating, their need for prescription medications as they lose weight.”

“Renata is great with the clients, she treats them like family. She always makes them feel comfortable even if they aren’t losing the weight they want. The whole staff works hard to help our clients stay dedicated and keep on track to their target goal weight. We know our clients are concerned about their weight and we take this very seriously,” said Dr Moulavi.

Dr. Sasson Moulavi is also Chief Medical Officer of U.S. Medical Care Holdings, the emerging growth weight management chain doing business as Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers, with corporate headquarters in Boca Raton and 32 locations throughout the United States and Canada with another 40 either under construction or contracted for.

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SmartforLife Can Save The Economy According To Weight Management Centers

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers Battles The Health Problems and Associated Costs That Come With Obesity

FL weight managementSmart for Life™ Weight Management Centers has the answer to win the war on health problems and expense associated with obesity.

“Obesity has become a crucial health and economic problem for our nation. Medical costs alone reflect the significance of the challenge,” said Dr. Sasson Moulavi, Chief Medical Officer of OS Medical Care Holdings, the emerging growth weight management chain doing business as Smart For Life™ Weight Management Centers.

Obesity and its associated health problems have substantial economic consequences for the U.S. health care system. In 2007, it is projected to cost individuals and the government an additional whopping $140 billion. According to a Surgeon General report, most of these costs are due to Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.

Weight Management Can Save Your Life

“Being overweight can be dangerous to your wealth,” said Jay L. Zagorsky, an economist at Ohio State University who has looked at the relationship between various economic and sociological factors and a measure of obesity called the body mass index.

In a report published in the New York Times, in Florida alone, an additional $4 billion is spent on Medicare and Medicaid only. These costs are ultimately paid for by the consumer in the form of taxes and higher insurance premiums.

And there are still other ‘invisible’ costs. The airline industry has been hit hard in recent years by the additional weight its passengers are carrying. The industry has had to revise their approach to policies such as baggage weight limits to account for the rising adiposity of their customers.

The airline industry had to purchase an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel in 2005, which resulted in an additional $275 million in expenses due solely to the increased weight of passengers. Thus, the increase may not concern the individual with their own overeating; however, with the increase in airline ticket prices they may be affected as a consumer.

Moulavi’s recommendation? The Smart For Life™ program, the popular diet of the national weight management chain. Smart for Life’s system, which offers a medically supervised program with on-staff physicians, require clients to eat cookies all day long. When clients follow the program, they lose an average of 12 to 15 pounds per month. The secret is a specially formulated protein-rich cookie and a doctor’s supervision.

The cookies are full of nutrients, amino acids, and fiber which suppress hunger while still supplying the body with the protein it needs. They are also all-natural and have no chemical appetite suppressants or artificial sweeteners. Patients praise the diet for its excellent hunger control and rapid weight loss.

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers, with corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, FL, has 32 locations throughout the United States and Canada with another 40 either under construction or contracted for.

So, Smart for Life asks what people want: another couple jelly donuts or a cheaper airline ticket to Europe this summer?

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Energy Drinks Affecting Waistline of America’s Youth

By Sasson Moulavi - November 30, 2006

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers Educate Against Childhood Obesity

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers warns parents against giving high-sugar energy drinks to children as these supercharged drinks are adding extra pounds to the continually growing obesity rate among children and adolescents in the United States.


Dr. Sasson Moulavi, Chief Medical Director of the Boca Raton based weight loss company explains, “The number of overweight children coming to our centers continue to grow. When I review the child’s current diet, I am finding an alarming trend – energy drinks. Not only are these drinks loaded with extra caffeine, which is not healthy for children, but also packed with empty calories.” With more than 500 different drinks on the market, the 3.4 billion dollar energy drink industry is willing and able to target young people with a barrage of marketing messages which includes using these drinks as a weight loss tool. This message can be misleading as just two cans can contain as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar.

Other Health Issues From Energy Drinks

In addition to gaining excess pounds, continual use of these drinks can lead to other health issues such as diabetes. Dr. Moulavi warns, “Parents, teachers and public officials should be aware of this growing, and very dangerous trend among our young people. Many current and future health related issues can be avoided if we teach our children to make healthy choices now, such as reaching for bottled water and not energy drinks.“

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers specialize in medically supervised weight loss programs and have locations throughout the United States and Canada with centers in cities as Boca Raton, FL; Beverly Hills, CA; New York, NY; Rochester Hills, MI; and Boston, MA. The Smart for Life™ Weight Management program helps clients make positive changes in their lives by helping them reach and maintain their weight loss goals.

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New Weight Loss Center Tries To Make You Smart For Life

A New Kind of Weight Loss Center

weight loss centerAs the manager of the Smart for Life™, Michelle Davidson has brought the nationally franchised weight-loss program to Wichita.

It’s not just the 10 to 15 pounds the program claims to help customers lose every month that first caught Davidson’s attention; it’s also the way in which they lose it.

“I got really curious about this when I heard people were eating cookies and losing weight,” she said.

Those cookies are part of Smart for Life’s product line of “Smart” foods, which also includes shakes, soups and puddings.

Formulated with proteins and amino acids, the products are designed to provide natural hunger suppression throughout the day while still providing the necessary nutrients. Combined with a specified evening meal and daily water intake of 64 ounces, the products form the basis of the Smart for Life program, with exercise added as the weight comes off.

The Weight Loss Center Objective Is To Help You

For Davidson, the program’s commitment to overall customer health is what sets it apart.

Each client is given a customized plan at their weight loss center, created under the supervision of a physician like James Seberger, who works with Davidson to determine each person’s specific needs. “He has a passion for this, and that adds to the program,” Davidson said.

Davidson’s passion is customer service, which she said she now combines with her enjoyment of health and nutrition.

Originally from Smith Center, Davidson graduated from with a degree in human resource management.

Having lived in Wichita for 10 years, Davidson said she first became interested in Smart for Life after family members in California and Tennessee had success as franchisees. Started in 2002, Smart for Life has approximately 40 clinics in North America.

In opening her East Central location Nov. 5, Davidson brought the second such clinic to Kansas. The other is in Overland Park.

Although she hopes to eventually open a west Wichita location, Davidson said she is just concentrating on getting the word out about the center for now.

For her, Smart for Life clients need only follow the same advice she would give other prospective business owners.

“The biggest thing is to try,” she said. “You never know what can happen. If you have a passion and a dream, right or wrong, go for it.”

By Daniel McCoy

Eagle correspondent

A Diet Kosher Cookie For Better Health

Looking For A Diet Kosher Cookie?

Losing weight has never tasted so good, or been so good for you. Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers is a Boca Raton based wellness company that recently rolled out a new tastier line of cookies made with organic ingredients and will introduce two diet Kosher cookie varieties this week.

diet kosher cookies

Diet Kosher Cookie Options

The new diet Kosher cookies will initially be available in Chocolate and Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin. These cookies are packed full of nutrients, amino acids, and fiber to control hunger while still supplying the body with the protein it needs. They are all-natural and made with the best organic ingredients on the market and have no chemical appetite suppressants or artificial sweeteners.

“We were constantly receiving requests from our clients for Kosher cookies, and I am very pleased that we are now able to offer them to our clients.,” says Dr. Sasson E. Moulavi, Chief Medical Director of the Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers. “Our goal is to provide the healthiest and highest quality products to our clients as they work toward reaching their health goals. Organic ingredients offer more nutrients than conventionally grown foods, so not only are all of our new flavors receiving rave reviews for taste, but they are healthier too!”

In addition to Chocolate and Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin, other cookie flavors include Maine Blueberry, Pina Colada and Boca Banana. These along with a proprietary line of hunger controlling soups and shakes — are exclusively available at Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers, which have helped hundreds of thousands of people lose weight over the past several years.

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers specialize in medically supervised weight loss and have locations throughout the United States and Canada with centers in Boca Raton, FL; Beverly Hills, CA; New York, NY; Rochester Hills, MI; and Boston, MA. The Smart for Life™ Weight Management program helps clients make positive changes in their lives by helping them reach and maintain their weight loss goals.

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