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Disease Remission in Obesity Programs (DROP)

Many people need help when they decide to lose weight and improve their health.

UPMC's obesity programs can help you "DROP":

  • Bad habits.
  • Inches.
  • Medicine.
  • Pounds.
  • Obesity symptoms.

People have success with weight loss when they create a goal and have good reasons to achieve it.

Actions as small as making modest lifestyle changes and losing a few pounds can have health rewards. Each step in the right direction is worthwhile.

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is a chronic disease, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

It can cause or worsen:

  • Arthritis and chronic pain.
  • Fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.
  • Heart disease and stroke.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Infertility and trouble getting pregnant.
  • Many cancers.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Type 2 diabetes.

Our Approach to Helping You Drop Weight

At UPMC, we treat obesity early and actively.

The DROP approach treats this chronic disease with you at the center of our care.

We do this through:

  • Group lifestyle visits for accountability and complete care.
  • Experts — including doctors certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine — to help with medicines, nutrition, and behavioral counseling.
  • Aftercare and follow-up to help prevent weight regain.

Obesity Program Options at UPMC

Mediterranean life: Diet derived from large heart disease and diabetes trials

The Mediterranean diet consists of a range of plant-heavy, healthy-fat, whole foods, such as:

  • Beans.
  • Fish.
  • Fruits and veggies.
  • Nuts.
  • Olive oil.
  • Wine.

Lifestyle changes focus on ways to live longer and have a healthy and happy life.

These changes can help you:

  • Get better sleep.
  • Be more active.
  • Manage stress.
  • Improve social connections.

This program:

  • Lasts one year with monthly virtual group visits with a dietitian.
  • Costs $250.

OPTIFAST®: Meal replacement low-calorie diet for extreme non-surgical weight loss and disease remission

Certain health problems reach a severe stage where lifestyle changes and modest weight loss aren't enough.

OPTIFAST® — a medically supervised diet — starts with 12 weeks of total meal replacement for active weight loss. Then you'll slowly build a new diet and habits to stay at a healthy weight.

It's for people who need to lose a large amount of weight fast to either:

  • Get off medicine for type 2 diabetes.
  • Safely have a needed orthopaedic surgery or infertility treatment.

It can also help if you've tried less intense diets or programs and only lost small amounts of weight.

The six-month OPTIFAST® plan can:

  • Reverse polycystic ovary syndrome, sleep apnea, and fatty liver disease.
  • Achieve an average weight loss of 18%.

OPTIFAST® requires:

  • A one-on-one exam with a UPMC endocrinology doctor.
  • Six monthly follow-up group visits (two in-person, four virtual).
  • Sixteen virtual group visits over six months with a dietitian.
  • A monthly maintenance program for one year.

OPTIFAST® costs:

  • $450 for 6 months for the program and materials.
  • $2 per meal replacement product (at most, $10 a day for the first 3 months, then the cost declines).
  • $250 a year for the maintenance program.

We bill health visits and tests to your insurance plan.

Partial meal replacement: Building simpler healthy habits for long-term weight loss success

Partial meal replacement:

  • Combines parts of the Mediterranean life and OPTIFAST® programs.
  • Focuses on helping you improve your diet and decrease how often you need to cook or prepare meals.

It requires:

  • Twice a month virtual group visits for six months with a dietitian.
  • A monthly maintenance program for one year.

Partial meal replacement costs:

  • $250 for six months (cost doesn't include meal replacements).
  • $250 a year for the maintenance program.

Other DROP Services

  • Prescription drugs to treat overweight and obesity, if and when appropriate, prescribed by our obesity medicine experts.
  • Resting metabolism assessment using a 10-minute breath analysis.
  • Body composition assessment using a bioimpedance scale.

Make an Appointment with the DROP Programs

The team at UPMC can help you on your weight-loss journey. We provide health care, support, and nutrition counseling at certain locations.

Call 412-586-9780 or find an endocrinology location near you.

More DROP Resources

Listen to a UPMC HealthBeat podcast on DROP.

View a video interview with Dr. Rometo to learn more about DROP: