Robert Cywes, MD, PhD
Dr. Cywes is Dual Board Certified in General Surgery and in Pediatric Surgery. He specializes in Pediatric and Adult obesity, diabetes and metabolic management including bariatric surgery. His focus is on helping people understand and treat the true cause of obesity and diabetes. He has been doing bariatric surgery for 19 years and has performed around 7000 surgeries. Despite this, Dr Cywes firmly believes that obesity and diabetes are not treated by surgery, however, surgery may be an invaluable tool along the journey of becoming carbohydrate-free.
His medical training began in Cape Town, South Africa where he received his medical degree from The University of Cape Town training with Prof Tim Noakes amongst others. In 1989, Dr. Cywes moved to North America and completed a year-long residency in pediatric surgery at Ohio State University’s Columbus Children’s Hospital before moving to Canada where he completed his general surgery residency and specialized in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Cywes also earned a PhD in liver transplant immunology and the effect of glucose metabolism on vascular endothelium injury, working with Dr David Jenkins, the father of the Glycemic Index.
After completing his pediatric surgery fellowship at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Dr. Cywes was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Paediatric and Fetal Surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where he did hepatic stem cell research. During this time, Dr. Cywes became increasingly interested in adolescent obesity and the impact of carbohydrates on the liver and metabolic syndrome in young patients.Dr. Cywes’ research led to a comprehensive understanding of the toxicity of chronic excessive carbohydrate consumption as the primary cause of obesity and so-called obesity-related co-morbidities.
In the late 1990s Dr Cywes understood that the prevailing treatment of obesity using a Calories in, Calories out (CICO) model was erroneous, and he developed the Carbohydrate Insulin Model of Obesity and Diabetes (CIMOD). Using this model in combination with his understanding of the psychology of addiction, he developed a clinical program to treat obese adolescents using this approach. Dr. Cywes relocated to Jacksonville, Florida where he joined the Department of Pediatric Surgery at the Nemours Children’s Clinic and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. This led to a national meeting in Jacksonville where guidelines for adolescent obesity surgery were established.
In 2004, Dr. Cywes established Jacksonville Surgical Associates to continue his work in both adolescent and adult obesity treatment and surgery, and in 2013 opened a practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. He now works with a highly experienced team of professionals from a variety of medical sub-specialties to better care for obese patients. He has developed the practice into a nationally recognized Center of Excellence for obesity surgery. The practice uses a cognitive behavioral therapy approach that addresses carbohydrate addiction, along with bariatric surgery, to help patients manage the cause of their obesity long term.
Based on his extensive clinical research and observations, Dr. Cywes lectures internationally regarding the physiological impact of carbohydrate consumption as the primary cause of the current Chronic Non-Communicable Disease (CNCDs) epidemic. He also lectures on the behavioral aspects of carbohydrate addiction as the cause of obesity and obesity-related co-morbidities and the use of substance abuse methodology, rather than a diet and exercise approach, to the effective long term treatment of obesity.
Dr. Cywes is a member of ASMBS (American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) and is a member of the ASMBS Childhood Obesity Committee. He is also a member of APSA (American Pediatric Surgery Association). He has earned a Centers of Excellence designation by the Surgical Review Corporation. Dr. Cywes trains other surgeons to perform bariatric surgery as well as developing an aftercare model to help patients maintain weight loss. Dr. Cywes and his team are active in obesity research, including an ongoing Adolescent Bariatric Surgery trial. He has become one of the foremost authorities in the treatment and management of obesity in adolescents.
Dr. Cywes co-authored a book, Diabetes Unpacked outlining an effective approach to understanding and treating diabetes into remission. His vast experience in pediatric and general surgery serves him well in using bariatric surgery to treat obesity in both adults and children. Dr. Cywes maintains an active clinical practice in Palm Beach Gardens and in Jacksonville as well as being active on conveying the CIMOD message on social media and through his website.
Joan Ifland, PhD, MBA
Dr. Ifland has been creating breakthroughs in recovery of food addiction from 1999 with the publication of her first popular book, to 2018 with the publication of her textbook, Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery(CRC Press). The textbook is the first academic publication describing how to diagnose and treat processed food addiction, as well as establishing the scientific basis for the disease
Her current project is a breakthrough in recovery: the online Addiction Reset Community (ARC) founded in 2018 (patent pending). It is based on findings that processed food addiction can be severe. This finding shifted the field to more comprehensive abstinence and support protocols that also resolve isolation and mobility issues.
Dr. Ifland has created numerous innovative online resources for food addicts including The Facebook Groups, ‘Food Addiction Education and Food Addiction Education – The Food (2014). The website, Food Addiction Resources, www.foodaddictionresources.com, provides free evidence-based handouts (2104). The website, Food Addiction Books, www.foodaddictionbooks.com guides food addicts away from misguided deceptive literature to books with solid scientific foundations (2015). She founded the first online training in food addiction to make recovery easier in small, online groups, Food Addiction Reset, www.foodaddictionreset.com (2016). The Home Addiction Reset Program (HARP) is the first home-based online live video program to support people through the acute phase of withdrawal from processed foods (2018). She wrote the popular book, Dr. Ifland’s Meal Prep Manual, which is a breakthrough system to easily manage meals for recovery from food addiction (2018).
Dr. Ifland is the lead author of the first scholarly description of processed food addiction according to classic addiction diagnostic criteria and the first scholarly definition of addictive versus non-addictive foods, Refined Food Addiction: A Classic Substance Use Disorder (2007) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19223127. Dr. Ifland earned her PhD in addictive nutrition at Union Institute and University (2010). Her MBA was awarded by Stanford Business School(1978) and her BA in Economics and Political Science by Oberlin College (1974). Her early career was spent understanding corporate and government behaviors with two years as fiscal staff for the Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin Legislature (1974-76) and five years as corporate finance staff for a Fortune 200 holding company, the Continental Group (1978-1983). She currently resides in the Seattle area where she enjoys hiking, swimming, women’s business groups, and the arts.
Tro Kalayjian, MD
Dr. Tro Kalayjian is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. He lost 150 lbs to reclaim his health for himself and his family. He did it by ignoring much of the conventional medical advice that we have been told. Dr. Kalayjian’s life goal is to get his patients healthy, prevent disease, and get them off their medications. He completed medical school at TouroCOM in New York and his internal medicine residency and chief residency within the Yale system at Greenwich Hospital.
Dr. Kalayjian has been practicing medicine since 2011, most recently in private practice. His practice focuses on tracking patients seamlessly and remotely with smart devices, including scales, blood pressure cuffs, wearable technology, and continuous glucose monitors. His practices focus on de-prescribing medications and using lifestyle, diet, and exercise to improve the course of disease.
Dr. Kalayjian’s personal weight loss story began in childhood. He grew up obese in an obese family. He has personally dealt with the deep emotions and feelings of being overweight for most of his life. “I have dealt with the same issues that many of my patients face, which affords me the capacity to empathize with them and guide them in a special way. This connection is why my patients are successful in their wellness journey because I am not preaching from some Ivory Tower. I lived through what my patients live through, and I have experienced what they are experiencing. In order to heal myself, I studied for countless hours through medical literature, researched thousands of papers, and read hundreds of books in order to find the answer, for myself, to the ever-important question: Why are we fat? And what I found during my journey and research was in such stark contrast to what we have been told. Eating multiple small meals DOES NOT speed up your metabolism. Fruit Juices ARE NOT healthy. Red Meat, Fish, and Full-Fat Yogurt ARE healthy.”
Dr. Kalayjian believes that if most physicians and nutritionists can’t get it right, why do we expect anything different from our patients? Are we surprised that the obesity epidemic has exploded? Patients may not realize that most physicians DO NOT have sufficient training in nutrition and can’t help you lose weight or reverse disease. Furthermore, the food industry and special interests have made understanding a healthy lifestyle difficult. Ultimately, Dr. Kalayjian finds he is best able to serve his patients because he understands what it is like, has been through it, and helps his patients every step of the way. He succeeds when they succeed.