Send to

Choose Destination
Obes Sci Pract. 2016 Dec;2(4):477-482. doi: 10.1002/osp4.66. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

What weight loss treatment options do geriatric patients with overweight and obesity want to consider?

Author information

MacMillan & Fujioka: Department of Diabetes and Endocrine Scripps Clinic La Jolla CA USA.
Cummins K: Department of Psychiatry University of California San Diego, La Jolla CA USA.



Since the 1990s, a number of weight loss medications have been removed from the USA and or European market because of adverse events associated with these medications. These medications include fenfluramine (heart valve thickening), sibutramine (cardiovascular risk) and rimonabant (depression). This history may affect a patient's desire to consider weight loss medications as an option for weight management.


This descriptive study was designed to observe what treatment options the geriatric patient (age 65 or higher) seeking weight loss would like to consider, as well as the reasons they felt they struggled with overweight or obesity.


A questionnaire was given to 102 geriatric patients with overweight or obesity before starting a weight loss programme at a weight management centre. The questionnaire asked the patient why they felt they were overweight or obese and what treatment options they wished to consider. The geriatric patients were matched with younger patients in body mass index and sex.


The three most common perceptions that geriatric patients felt were causes of their increased weight were 'lack of exercise' (76.2%), 'poor food choices' (59.4%) and 'cravings' (47.5%). When geriatric patients were asked what treatment options they would like to discuss, the four most common options requested were 'diet and healthy eating' (67.3%), weight loss medications (57.4%), a request for a 'metabolic work up' (55.4%) and 'exercise' (53.5%). These responses were no different from their younger cohorts. When geriatric patients with a body mass index of 35 or higher were given bariatric surgery as a treatment option, 21.9% marked it as a treatment option they would like to consider.


Over half of geriatric patients desired to discuss weight loss medications as a treatment option. Diet and exercise were also of strong interest, which is in line with current weight management guidelines.


Geriatric; medications; obesity; treatment

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center