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Clinical Guidelines for Managing Obesity

Clinical Guidelines for Managing Obesity

According to published data, nearly 155 million adults in the United States are classified as being either overweight (having a BMI of 25 to 29.9 kg/m2) or obese (having a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher). “Health-care providers are on the front line of the obesity epidemic,” explains Donna H. Ryan, MD. “Greater efforts are needed to identify patients who need to lose weight for cardiovascular reasons. As clinicians, we’re in a prime position to direct successful weight loss efforts.” According to Dr. Ryan, behaviors around food and physical activity and getting patients the help they need to change these behaviors are paramount to weight loss. “Losing weight is a complex issue that goes beyond a person’s willpower,” she says. “We need to do more than simply advise obese and overweight patients to lose weight. We need to be actively involved to help patients reach a healthier body weight, and that’s not necessarily a so-called ‘normal’ body weight.” Helpful Guidance In 2013, the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and Obesity Society released comprehensive treatment recommendations to help healthcare providers tailor weight loss treatments to adults who are overweight or obese. The guidelines address five specific areas of obesity, including:   1)   The identification of who needs to lose weight.   2)   How much weight patients should lose.   3)   Diets to consider for weight loss.   4)   Expected weight loss with lifestyle interventions.   5) Patients who should be considered for bariatric surgery. According to the guidelines, healthcare providers should calculate BMI at annual visits or more frequently and use BMI and waist circumference (WC) cutpoints to identify...
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