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June 27, 2012

Diet and Exercise for Weight Loss

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

JAMA. 2012;307(24):2641-2642. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7263

Over the past 30 years, the prevalence of obesity has increased steadily, with more than 65% of US individuals being overweight and one-third of the US population classified as being obese.1 Although this rate of increase has started to level off, the prevalence of obesity in the United States is now more than 2.5 times the prevalence in 1970—clearly an unsatisfactory state. Awareness of the obesity problem has gained traction, and more research efforts have been directed toward preventing obesity and toward treatment when prevention has failed. As the available medications to treat obesity have decreased to a single drug approved for long-term use (orlistat), following the recent withdrawal of 2 other agents (sibutramine and fenfluramine) by regulatory authorities, both diet and exercise,2-6 as well as bariatric surgery7 have received more attention.