Author Affiliations: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.
Contempo Updates Section Editor: Sarah Pressman
Lovinger, MD, Fishbein Fellow.
Physicians and other health care professionals often perceive obesity
treatment as labor intensive and unsuccessful. Currently, only 42% of obese
adults report being advised to lose weight by their health care professional.1 Patients who do attempt to lose weight often arrange
to do so through commercial or self-help programs independent of their physician.2 If treatment success is defined exclusively as attaining
ideal weight after losing a large amount of weight during a short-term intervention,
obesity treatment will almost certainly fail. However, small weight losses
can reduce obesity-associated risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes
and hypertension.3 Obesity must be recognized
as a chronic condition for which no cure can reasonably be expected.4
Serdula MK, Khan LK, Dietz WH. Weight Loss Counseling Revisited. JAMA. 2003;289(14):1747-1750. doi:10.1001/jama.289.14.1747