Today 39.6% of adults in the United States are obese, placing them at high risk for chronic disease-related morbidity and mortality.1 Behavioral weight management is a proven treatment for obesity, with significant benefits associated with a weight loss of 5% to 7%.2 The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation for “Behavioral Weight Loss Interventions to Prevent Obesity-Related Morbidity and Mortality in Adults,”3 supported by an evidence report and systematic review,4 provides evidence for effective programs to reverse obesity and reduce risk for negative health outcomes. The current USPSTF statement “recommends that clinicians offer or refer adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher…to intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions (B recommendation).”3 These interventions “can lead to clinically significant improvements in weight status and reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes among adults with obesity and elevated plasma glucose levels.”3 This statement updates the 2012 USPSTF recommendation5 by further articulating core program elements and structure needed for effective counseling and impact. However, a recent study by Fitzpatrick and Stevens6 reported that obesity management in primary care settings remains suboptimal, with underdiagnoses of obesity and declines in weight management counseling from 33% in the 2008-2009 period to 21% in the 2012-2013 period.6 Despite evidence that intensive behavioral interventions work, most patients will not receive care that complies with that evidence. A critical priority then is how to promote the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based obesity interventions.
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Haire-Joshu D, Hill-Briggs F. Treating Obesity—Moving From Recommendation to Implementation. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(11):1447–1449. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.5259
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