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September 22, 1993

Futility and Avoidance: Medical Professionals in the Treatment of Obesity

JAMA. 1993;270(12):1422-1423. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510120044016

To the Editor.  —The Commentary by Dr Frank1 has attracted the attention of many of this association's members. As registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, we can certainly support Frank's calls for obesity treatment by credentialed professionals. And, given a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach, our members know from experience that, contrary to Frank's assertions, successful treatment of obesity can be achieved.Success comes through the efforts of a team of experts, including physicians, dietitians, nurses, and exercise physiologists. Today's dietitian brings much more to this team than the "litany of menu planning" that Frank references. Uniquely qualified to translate nutrition science into practical food choices, dietitians thoroughly assess a patient's diet and eating patterns before developing a highly individualized plan that will promote long-term weight loss. Counseling on what to eat and how to plan menus is only one component of a dietitian's involvement in obesity treatment. Dietitians continually monitor a