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Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Mar;33(3):289-95. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.2. Epub 2009 Feb 3.

A proposed clinical staging system for obesity.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Current classifications of obesity based on body mass index, waist circumference and other anthropometric measures, although useful for population studies, have important limitations when applied to individuals in clinical practice. Thus, these measures do not provide information on presence or extent of comorbidities or functional limitations that would guide decision making in individuals. In this paper we review historical and current classification systems for obesity and propose a new simple clinical and functional staging system that allows clinicians to describe the morbidity and functional limitations associated with excess weight. It is anticipated that this system, when used together with the present anthropometric classification, will provide a simple framework to aid decision making in clinical practice.

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