We’re thrilled to be featured in the January 2022 issue of Topeka City Lifestyle! Check out the article, Obtaining Optimum Health, about Dr. Tague and The Center For Nutrition below:
Obtaining Optimum Health
Dr. Tague’s Center for Nutrition Celebrates 25 Years!
With 25 years of experience helping over 35,000 patients, the Center for Nutrition (CFN), located in Topeka and Leawood, truly understands the challenges of weight loss. And, since being overweight often leads to medical problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, it’s imperative for people to get proper help.
“At Tulane medical school, I studied public health and preventive medicine along with my medical degree,” says Rick Tague M.D., who founded CFN in 1996. “In my public health classes, they taught us it’s better to prevent medical problems than wait until there is a disease to treat. That was ingrained into my head, so when I started my medical practice, I had this mindset. I wanted to do everything possible for my patients to prevent common diseases.”
In order to do this, he says, there are two keys. One – a healthy body weight, and two – excellent nutrition. “If people get those two factors right, they can typically enjoy what I call optimum health,” says Dr. Tague.
His son, Caleb Tague, M.D., and daughter, Kari Brown, a nurse practitioner, work with their father. Kari provides consultations for new patients, and loves the atmosphere at the Center. “I’m naturally a positive person, so I love seeing people get healthier and encouraging them.”
Dr. Caleb, a family medicine physician in Kansas City, recently took his board certification exam in obesity medicine. “Growing up around my father, I had the mindset that preventing disease is the best medicine,” he says. “And going through residency, you see horribly sick patients, and many of their illnesses are completely preventable.”
“Being significantly overweight is a medical disease,” says Dr. Tague. “It’s a disease of the fat cells, which act like cancer, trying to take over the body. Without powerful and well thought out nutritional and medical strategies, it is very difficult for people to manage. We always provide a comprehensive initial evaluation, focusing on determining causes of weight gain, and then use powerful approaches to maximize weight loss and prevent weight regain. We’ve been perfecting our management approach for 25 years.”
“We have highly trained physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dieticians, and nutritionists on staff,” says Kari. “We help people lose significant weight, sometimes 20, 40, or 100 or more pounds, but equally important to us is achieving optimum health. As we’re helping with weight loss, we look at health problems that go hand in hand and address them. Our main goal is to improve overall health and quality of life.”
Every patient is given a thorough evaluation and a customized plan. “Everyone has unique needs and you have to treat it based on the individual,” says Dr. Caleb. “There is no one-size-fits-all plan that works for everyone.”
Once patients reach their goals, they move to maintenance where support continues. “Unfortunately, being significantly overweight is a chronic, progressive disease,” says Dr. Caleb. “We can manage it, but there are no permanent cures. So once the weight loss is achieved, we help patients prevent regaining weight.”
Candice Byrd, from Topeka, went to the Center in Topeka in July of 2021 – by mid-December, she lost 72 pounds, reaching her goal weight!
“I met Dr. Rick at my first appointment after my consult,” she says. “He’s awesome. He was very knowledgeable and wasn’t offering me something that wasn’t going to work. Everyone is so encouraging. They’re going to support you.”
Today, Candice feels amazing. She is off her diabetic and blood pressure medications and her mobility is much better. “It’s like a new lease on life, and even my confidence has gone up,” she says.
In addition to Dr. Rick, Dr. Caleb, and Kari, the two centers are staffed by people who are not only specialists in their fields, but also caring and compassionate professionals. “There is a bias against being overweight in our nation and the patient is often blamed for their unwanted weight gain, so there’s a lot of inappropriate guilt and shame,” says Dr. Tague. “We understand the challenges and the medical causes, including metabolism and appetite disorders, and it’s not the patients’ faults. Whether they need to lose 20 pounds or 100 plus pounds, they’ll be treated with respect, kindness and encouragement.”
For Kari, working alongside her father has been wonderful. “Working with my dad has given me a glimpse into his heart that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. This has been his calling and his life’s work,” she says. “Getting to have that deeper relationship with him is really sweet.”
Adds Dr. Caleb, “It’s been fun to see my father grow the Center into a thriving medical practice that’s making such a big difference in so many people’s lives.”
For Dr. Tague, having his children working with him is a dream come true. “We have five children and all five have worked in our office in some capacity (four out of five are in the medical field, and another is currently in law school).” His wife, Kathy, a nurse, worked alongside him for many years as well.
Dr. Tague’s goal for his patients is to be trim, fit, healthy and happy. “The Center’s mission is optimum health through the power of weight control and excellent nutrition. When people get those two things right, health falls into place.”