Dr. Scott Kahan

Preventive medicine physician, National Center for Weight and Wellness, Washington, DC, US
Work Experience: 15+ years in obesity prevention and treatment

“There’s so much stigma and shame around excess weight, which leads to many people hating their bodies. I aim to provide the necessary information and help they need to feel comfortable in their body and love it while treating any health conditions related to obesity.”

Career Highlights 

  • Director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness, Washington, DC, 2011–present
  • Faculty at George Washington University School of Public Health, Washington, DC, 2010–present
  • Medical Director of Strategies to Overcome and Prevent Obesity Alliance (a George Washington University-based coalition of 100 organizations), Washington, DC, 2010–present
  • Faculty at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, 2007–present
  • Physician at Johns Hopkins University, 2005–present
  • Member of several committees, including the Professional Practice Committee for the American Diabetes Association, Advocacy and Public Outreach Core Committee for the Endocrine Society, and The Obesity Society Council
  • Recipient of numerous awards, including Clinician of the Year in 2017 by The Obesity Society, Healthcare Provider Advocate of the Year in 2016 by the Obesity Action Coalition, the Patients’ Choice award as one of Washington DC’s best physicians from 2010 to 2018, Outstanding Contribution Gratitude Award by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Weight Management DPG, and #1 Preventive Medicine Physician in Washington, DC, by rateMDs.com
  • Published 14 books and over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • Columnist for The Huffington Post, with publications in many other newspapers, including USA Today, The Washington Post, and The New York Times
  • Scientific peer reviewer for over 30 academic journals and research associations
  • Frequent speaker at conferences
  • Certified obesity medicine specialist and nutritionist


  • Residency in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, Chief Resident, Baltimore, MD, 2005–2008
  • Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, 2007
  • Residency in Internal Medicine at Franklin Square Hospital Center, Baltimore, MD, 2003–2004
  • Degree in Medicine from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University College of Medicine), Philadelphia, PA, 2002
  • Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering from Columbia University – Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1997

Featured Publications

  • “Guideline recommendations for obesity management.” Medical Clinics of North America, vol. 102, no. 1, Jan 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2017.08.006
  • “Obesity and government.” Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, vol. 23, no. 5, Oct 2016, doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000278
  • “Nutrition interventions for obesity.” Medical Clinics of North America, vol. 100, no. 6, Nov 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2016.06.012
  • “Health behavior change in populations,” Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

My Journey in Medicine

I found my calling for obesity medicine during my residency training in preventive medicine. Obesity medicine is a fantastic specialty because it allows me to be both a family doctor and a specialist who can make a huge impact on the lives of my patients. Like a family doctor, I get to treat the “whole person” and have the privilege of building long-term relationships with my patients. My specialty is also unique and in demand, so I receive referrals from a wide range of clinicians and get to give my two cents on a number of interesting cases while expanding research in this complex field of medicine. 

In addition to my clinical practice, I lead a large, multidisciplinary obesity treatment center in Washington, DC. I also focus part of my career on obesity policy, public health, and advocacy. I focus on growing access to care for obesity treatment services, addressing weight stigma, and training physicians in obesity treatment modalities. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to advise the White House, several surgeons general, members of the U.S. Congress, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, numerous governmental agencies, national and local advocacy groups, and public health initiatives.

As a professor, I teach obesity, nutrition, public health, and health behavior change to medical students, graduate students, and undergraduate students. I created the first course dedicated to obesity at George Washington University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University for undergraduates. My research focuses on obesity prevention and treatment, chronic disease risk reduction, health behavior change in populations, and clinical aspects of weight management. 

There are many myths and misinformation surrounding obesity that come from many sources (the media and society). Through my work, I aim to demystify the topic and reduce shame for my patients. By empowering them with the information they need and working together with them to find the best treatment plan that works for their body, we are able to achieve great results, which is very fulfilling. 

At Flo, I aim to provide knowledge and solutions for people to treat health problems due to obesity so they can improve their overall well-being and feel confident in their skin. 

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