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Health Agencies Update
April 18, 2001

Guide for Treating Obese Patients

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JAMA. 2001;285(15):1952. doi:10.1001/jama.285.15.1952-JHA10003-3-1

A practical guide to help practitioners treat overweight and obese patients has been unveiled by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The need for the tools couldn't be more pressing, as statistics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) show that between 1994 and 1999 the number of US adults who are overweight or obese increased by 5%.

Claude Lenfant, MD, NHLBI director, said that now 61% of the US adult population—almost 108 million people—are at greater risk than slimmer people for major diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer because of their weight. To help deliver better health care to this at-risk population, NHLBI prepared the guide based on 1998 clinical guidelines.