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A greater than normal amount of fat is in the body; more severe than overweight; having a body mass index of 30 or more.

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The purpose of this report was to systematically collate scientific literature on dietary advice for obese individuals, or the actual food intake among such people. The results for obese individuals and individuals with diabetes generally point in the same direction. This report does not evaluate implemention methods for passing on dietary advice. Nor have we reviewed the scientific literature for links between diet and ill-health among the population in general.

Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment (SBU).

Version: September 2013

This report summarizes available key information on the use of bariatric treatments for adult obesity in Alberta and North America (mainly Canada). This analysis was intended to describe the profile of adult obesity (definition, progression, epidemiology, and population dynamics of affected individuals in Alberta and in Canada) and patterns of care for this condition (focusing on bariatric treatments recommended by evidence-based clinical practice guidelines), as well as to identify potential inequities in health status or care across population groups. Also considered were social factors associated with the use of multidisciplinary programs involving bariatric treatments for adult obesity in Alberta.

Institute of Health Economics (IHE).

Version: March 2012

Rigorous scientific evidence linking overweight or obesity with increased risk for stroke is missing.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 18, 2006

Overweight and obesity are common health conditions worldwide but there are few effective treatments. Chitosan is a widely available dietary supplement that claims to aid weight loss and blood cholesterol levels. Fifteen studies which lasted between 4 to 24 weeks including a total of 1219 participants were analysed. Trials of chitosan to date have varied considerably in terms of quality. The review suggests that chitosan may have a small effect on body weight but results from high quality trials indicate that this effect is likely to be minimal.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 16, 2008

Overweight and obesity are important public health problems and are associated with many serious health conditions. The risk of developing overweight and obesity depends on lifestyle factors such as food intake and physical activity levels. Treatment for overweight and obesity therefore commonly involves diet and exercise. We found that exercise has a positive effect on body weight and cardiovascular disease risk factors in people with overweight or obesity, particularly when combined with diet, and that exercise improves health even if no weight is lost. No data were identified on adverse events, quality of life, morbidity, costs or mortality.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 18, 2006

Rimonabant is the first drug of a new class of medications that seems to reduce body weight and improve risk factors for diseases of the blood vessels and heart in people who are overweight or obese. We found four studies which evaluated weight loss, occurrence of disorders and adverse effects of treatment. The four studies involved 6625 people comparing rimonabant 20 mg with rimonabant 5 mg and placebo, in combination with a hypocaloric diet after one or two years of treatment. Greater weight loss and improvement in risk factors were seen after 20 mg of rimonabant. These results have to be interpreted with caution though, due to high discontinuation rates of study participants and the overall low quality of the included studies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 18, 2006

Childhood obesity affects both the physical and psychosocial health of children and may put them at risk of ill health as adults. More information is needed about the best way to treat obesity in children and adolescents. In this review, 64 studies were examined including 54 studies on lifestyle treatments (with a focus on diet, physical activity or behaviour change) and 10 studies on drug treatment to help overweight and obese children and their families with weight control. No surgical treatment studies were suitable to include in this review. This review showed that lifestyle programs can reduce the level of overweight in child and adolescent obesity 6 and 12 months after the beginning of the program. In moderate to severely obese adolescents, a reduction in overweight was found when either the drug orlistat, or the drug sibutramine were given in addition to a lifestyle program, although a range of adverse effects was also noted. Information on the long‐term outcome of obesity treatment in children and adolescents was limited and needs to be examined in some high quality studies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 20, 2009

Nine randomised controlled trials involving 395 patients were evaluated. Six out of nine studies had a follow‐up of less than one year, the longest study duration was 24 months. The overall quality of trials was variable, only a third of the analysed studies showed a low risk of bias. No information was available on quality of life, all‐cause mortality and morbidity. Compared with conventional management, IGB did not show convincing evidence of a greater weight loss. The relative risks for minor complications, for example gastric ulcers and erosions were significantly raised.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 24, 2007

There is a lack of consensus as to the best nutritional management of obesity. We assessed the effects of low glycaemic index or glycaemic load diets in overweight or obese people. Six randomised controlled trials, involving 202 participants, were analysed. Interventions ranged from five weeks to six months duration. Participants receiving the low glycaemic index or load diet lost a mean of one kilogramme more than those on comparison diets. Lipid profile also improved more in participants receiving the low glycaemic index or load diet. No study reported adverse effects, mortality or quality of life data.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 18, 2007

Approximately 14% of children and adolescents in Norway are overweight or obese. Overweight and obesity can affect physical and psychosocial health. Treatment may provide several health benefits.

Knowledge Centre for the Health Services at The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

Version: December 16, 2016

This review assessed the long‐term benefits and risks of approved anti‐obesity drugs in clinical trials of 1 to 4 years duration. Sixteen orlistat (10,631 patients), 10 sibutramine (2623 patients) and four rimonabant (6635 patients) studies were examined. High drop‐out rates (30% to 40%) were a limitation of nearly all studies. Compared to placebo, all three drugs reduced weight by around five kg or less and orlistat reduced the number of high‐risk patients who developed diabetes. No data to show that any of the three drugs lowers the risk of death or cardiovascular disease were found. The most prominent side effects were gastrointestinal for orlistat, cardiovascular for sibutramine (raised blood pressure and/or pulse rate) and psychiatric for rimonabant (mood disorders). In Europe, rimonabant is contraindicated for patients with severe depression and/or patients who are treated with antidepressive medications. Rimonabant is furthermore not recommended for patients with other untreated psychiatric conditions.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 20, 2003

Childhood obesity can cause social, psychological and health problems, and is linked to obesity later in life and poor health outcomes as an adult.  Obesity development is related to physical activity and nutrition. To prevent obesity, 55 studies conducted internationally have looked at programmes aiming to improve either or both of these behaviours.  Although many studies were able to improve children’s nutrition or physical activity to some extent, only some studies were able to see an effect of the programme on children’s levels of fatness.  When we combined the studies, we were able to see that these programmes made a positive difference, but there was much variation between the study findings which we could not explain. Also, it appeared that the findings may be biased by missing small studies with negative findings. We also tried to work out why some programmes work better than others, and whether there was potential harm associated with children being involved in the programmes.  Although only a few studies looked at whether programmes were harmful, the results suggest that those obesity prevention strategies do not increase body image concerns, unhealthy dieting practices, level of underweight, or unhealthy attitudes to weight, and that all children can benefit.  It is important that more studies in very young children and adolescents are conducted to find out more about obesity prevention in these age groups, and also that we assess how long the intervention effects last.  Also, we need to develop ways of ensuring that research findings benefit all children by embedding the successful programme activities into everyday practices in homes, schools, child care settings, the health system and the wider community.     

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 7, 2011

Across the world more children and adolescents are becoming overweight and obese. As overweight and obese children are more likely to suffer from health problems, more information is needed about how best to treat this problem.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: June 24, 2015

This review aimed to look at the effects of strategies to improve the implementation (or correct undertaking) of policies, practices or programmes by childcare services that promote children's healthy eating, physical activity and/or obesity prevention. We also looked at whether these strategies improved childcare service staff knowledge, skills or attitudes. We also wanted to determine the cost or cost‐effectiveness of providing implementation support, whether support strategies were associated with any adverse effects and whether there was an impact on child nutrition, physical activity or weight status.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 4, 2016

Across the world more children are becoming overweight and obese. These children are more likely to suffer from health problems as children and in later life. Parents can play an important role in determining what their children eat. More information is needed about whether helping parents to make changes to their family's diet and lifestyle will treat this problem.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 21, 2015

Across the world more children are becoming overweight and obese. These children are more likely to suffer from health problems, both while as children and in later life. More information is needed about what works best for treating this problem.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: March 10, 2016

To assess the effectiveness of strategies to change the behaviour of health professionals and the organisation of care to promote weight reduction in people with overweight and obesity. This is an update of a Cochrane Review.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: November 30, 2017

Bibliographic details: O'Neal KS, Crosby KM.  What is the role of the pharmacist in obesity management? Current Obesity Reports 2014; 3(3): 298-306

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2014

Across the world more children and adolescents are becoming overweight and obese. These children and adolescents are more likely to have health problems, both while as children or adolescents and in later life. More information is needed about what works best for treating this problem recognising that so‐called lifestyle changes (diet, exercise and counselling) have limited efficacy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: November 29, 2016

The aim of this research was to provide essential information for preparing a DMP module on obesity by means of a systematic search for current evidence-based CPGs and a synopsis of the extracted recommendations.

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care: Executive Summaries [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: February 6, 2009

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