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Am Fam Physician. 2016 Sep 1;94(5):361-8.

Update on Office-Based Strategies for the Management of Obesity.

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Swedish Family Medicine Residency, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Littleton, CO, USA.


Obesity is a common condition that is associated with numerous medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and diabetes mellitus. Primary care physicians have an important role in helping patients develop a successful weight loss plan to improve their overall health. Dietary strategies emphasizing reduced caloric intake, regardless of the nutrient composition, are important for weight loss. Behavioral interventions such as motivational interviewing and encouraging physical activity lead to additional weight loss when combined with dietary changes. Medication regimens for concomitant medical problems should take into account the effect of specific agents on the patient's weight. Persons with a body mass index of 30 kg per m2 or greater or 27 kg per m2 or greater with comorbidities who do not succeed in losing weight with diet and activity modifications may consider medication to assist with weight loss. Medications approved for long-term treatment of obesity include orlistat, lorcaserin, liraglutide, phentermine/topiramate, and naltrexone/bupropion. Physicians should consider referring patients for bariatric surgery if they have a body mass index of 40 kg per m2 or greater. For those with obesity-related comorbid conditions, patients should be considered for adjustable gastric banding or other bariatric surgical approaches if they have a body mass index of 30 to 39.9 kg per m2. The most commonly performed procedures for weight loss are Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric banding. Bariatric surgery is the most effective intervention for weight loss in obese patients, and it leads to improvement in multiple obesity-related conditions, including remission of diabetes.

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