[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Contempo Updates
Clinician's Corner
April 9, 2003

Weight Loss Counseling Revisited

Author Affiliations

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.

JAMA. 2003;289(14):1747-1750. doi:10.1001/jama.289.14.1747

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