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J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 1999 May;8(4):483-93.

The treatment of obesity: what's new, what's recommended.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-2648, USA.


The prevalence of obesity in the United States has increased, with approximately one third of American men and women considered obese. Obese individuals who seek weight reduction frequently lose weight with the goal of returning to their ideal body weight. For the majority of obese persons, however, reaching their ideal body weight is an unattainable goal, few people are able to maintain even more modest weight losses over the long term. The result is that many obese persons end up feeling frustrated, if not defeated, by their weight loss efforts. Recent weight loss treatment recommendations have focused on helping patients lose 5%-10% of their body weight and maintaining these losses for longer durations. These more modest losses frequently are associated with reductions in obesity-related comorbidities and improvements in psychological status. The practitioner assisting obese individuals with weight reduction is presented with a variety of treatment options, including behavioral programs, pharmacotherapy, and low-calorie diets. Each of these approaches has been shown to be effective in producing the 5%-10% weight losses now recommended. A combination of these approaches, such as the use of pharmacotherapy with a behavioral modification program, ultimately may prove to be the most effective treatment for obese persons. We review the new weight loss recommendations and provide suggestions for assessing patients for weight loss treatment. We also discuss both existing and new treatment options and focus on their application in a primary care setting.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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