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Invited Commentary
Jan 28, 2013

The Future of Obesity Treatment: Comment on “Integrating Technology Into Standard Weight Loss Treatment: A Randomized Controlled Trial”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Family Medicine, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and NorthShore University Health System, Evanston, Illinois.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(2):111-112. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1232

A staggering 68% of US adults are either overweight or obese.1 Current direct medical costs associated with treating obesity-related illness are roughly 5% to 10% of all US health care spending.2 Effective solutions to this epidemic are scarce, expensive, or both. The mean cost of bariatric surgery is $27 905.3 Few medications are available for weight loss, and despite recent promising developments, obesity drugs are unlikely to become a solution to the problem.4 Many believe significant changes in public policy and the built environment will be necessary to reverse the epidemic.5,6 Such changes require a great deal of political will, which is lacking, and in any case would take many years to have a significant effect. So, what on earth should we do right now or in the near future?