Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Intern Med. 2008 May;19(3):173-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2007.09.011. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Barriers to obesity treatment.

Author information

Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.


Obesity, one of the most prevalent health problems in the Western world, is a chronic and progressive condition. Therefore, as with other chronic diseases, patients with obesity require lifelong treatment. Long-term efficacy and effectiveness of obesity treatments is notoriously poor. This may in part be attributable to the substantial barriers that undermine long-term obesity management strategies. These can include lack of recognition of obesity as a chronic condition, low socioeconomic status, time constraints, intimate saboteurs, and a wide range of comorbidities including mental health, sleep, chronic pain, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and endocrine disorders. Furthermore, medications used to treat some of these disorders may further undermine weight-loss efforts. Lack of specific obesity training of health professionals, attitudes and beliefs as well as coverage and availability of obesity treatments can likewise pose important barriers. Health professionals need to take care to identify, acknowledge and address these barriers where possible to increase patient success as well as compliance and adherence with treatments. Failure to do so may further undermine the sense of failure, low self esteem and self efficacy already common among obese individuals. Addressing treatment barriers can save resources and increase the prospect of long-term success.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center