Three of the top five New Year’s resolutions were for better health, including weight loss, according to data website Statista. Whether it’s a result of overindulging during the holidays, a New Year’s resolution, or unsuccessful dieting, many individuals are motivated this time of year to lose weight.

Earlene Miranda can relate. After years of yo-yo dieting the Valley resident decided it was time for help in achieving her weight loss goals.

She reached out to the Abrazo Medical and Surgical Weight Loss Program at the Abrazo Scottsdale Campus. It’s a comprehensive program with physicians specializing in obesity medicine and bariatric surgery, as well as dietitians and others who provide support and education.

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“Through the years, I have had many friends and coworkers have bariatric surgery. I researched the Abrazo Health website for information on the surgery and services. My initial consultation showed me that the program is geared for long-term success,” said Miranda.

Valley nurse Earlene Miranda chose the supportive, team approach with the Abrazo Medical and Surgical Weight Loss Program to help achieve her weight loss goals. A year after her bariatric surgery, she’s lost 89 pounds.

As a nurse, Miranda understood that choosing the right team would be a key factor in a successful outcome. Through a previous job at another hospital, she knew of Dr. Daniel Fang at Abrazo Scottsdale Campus and was encouraged by what she saw.

“I chose Dr. Fang based on my observations of him in my work as a Registered Nurse. He and his team treat staff and patients with the utmost of respect and professionalism. His credentials are second to none and his actions are proof! His patients did great post-op,” said Miranda.

According to the National Institutes of Health, rising rates of obesity are an alarming trend considering the risks and costs of treating its associated diseases.

“Weight loss surgery is designed to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and it can help alleviate many other obesity-related conditions like heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, depression and more,” said Dr. Fang.

Weight loss surgery is considered safe, but like any surgery, it does have risks. Those who are considering surgical weight loss are encouraged to consult with their personal physician about the risks and benefits, he said.

“Regardless of which bariatric surgery procedure you and your surgeon decide is best for you, it is important to remember that bariatric surgery is a tool. Weight loss success also depends on many other important factors, such as nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and more,” said Dr. Fang.

Miranda agrees: “They clearly communicated the weight loss center’s services and expectations, dieting, exercise programs and education with each available option. I knew, though, that I had to believe in myself to do this. They were professional and courteous and listened to all my concerns and questions.”

A year after the procedure, her results are 89 pounds lost so far. “Things went extremely well after surgery.  I followed all the education and instructions outlined by Dr. Fang. It was difficult at first to change my eating and activity habits, but with the monthly check-ins and nutritional counseling, it became easier. I felt great and empowered on my journey to regain my health.”

Miranda offers these words of encouragement for anyone considering bariatric surgery. “Do the research and understand that the surgery is a tool of the overall path to weight management and health.”

For more information, online health assessments or a physician referral, visit

Prevalence of overweight and obesity

• Nearly 1 in 3 adults (30.7%) are overweight

• More than 2 in 5 adults (42.4%) have obesity

• About 1 in 11 adults (9.2%) have severe obesity