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Am J Manag Care. 2014 Mar;20(3 Suppl):S64-75.

Practical perspectives on the management of overweight and obesity.


The prevalence of obesity, defined as a body mass index of 30 or more, has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of multiple conditions, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and sleep apnea. To discuss issues related to obesity in the workplace, healthcare, and managed care settings, stakeholders from these areas participated in a roundtable discussion on several topics, including the management of obesity, managed care coverage policies for obesity treatments, and potential strategies for improving patient outcomes. Participants agreed that obesity is a challenging condition to treat. Lifestyle modification, one of the most commonly recommended treatment modalities, is often inadequate on its own, as patients are unable to maintain weight loss over time. Although lifestyle modification remains important, additional tools are needed. In patients who undergo bariatric surgery, lifestyle modification is also necessary for long-term weight maintenance; however, surgery is not appropriate for all patients. Pharmacologic treatment may also be considered, but cost and managed care coverage policies have the potential to limit patient access to this treatment modality. Increased awareness and additional efforts on the part of all stakeholders are needed to improve outcomes for patients affected by obesity.

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