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June 23, 2021

Progress in Pharmacotherapy for Obesity

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2Section on Growth and Obesity, Division of Intramural Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA. 2021;326(2):129-130. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.9486

The obesity epidemic in the US continues unabated. The elevated risk for severe disease and death from COVID-19 associated with obesity and its comorbidities underscores the urgency to develop and implement effective prevention and treatment strategies. Multicomponent behavior-based weight management interventions are recommended for adults with obesity; however, some patients do not respond to even the highest-quality programs. Medications are well-accepted in the management of other disorders that potentially respond to dietary interventions, such as the use of statin drugs for hypercholesterolemia. However, many clinicians are hesitant to prescribe, payers are hesitant to reimburse for, and patients are hesitant to use antiobesity medications.

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