Although serious health concerns are associated with obesity, losing even 5% of body weight can produce clinically relevant effects. The initial goal of obesity management is usually a 5% to 10% weight reduction. Some people will sustain weight loss with changes in diet and exercise alone; however, these patients represent the minority, and a large percentage are unable to maintain weight loss over time. Patients and providers often wish to intensify obesity treatment, and therefore interest in new medications has been considerable. Until recently, only two antiobesity medications have received Food and Drug Administration approval for long-term use. In June and July of 2012, respectively, lorcaserin and combination phentermine/topiramate extended-release were approved for obesity therapy. The first section of this article reviews mechanisms, clinical trials, benefits and risks of available medications for treating obesity. Bariatric surgery is the next step for patients with a body mass index of 40 kg/m2 or 35 kg/m2 with comorbidities, based on National Institutes of Health Clinical Guidelines. These procedures and their risks and benefits are reviewed in the second section. The final section presents common clinical scenarios with guidance for choosing among evidence-based recommendations for developing optimal, individualized, long-term strategies for patients with obesity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism