Should you be thinking differently about obesity?

Information provided by Novo Nordisk

Obesity is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.1 Managing it requires a multimodal approach, based on your patient’s BMI (kg/m2).

Healthy eating, physical activity, and behavioral therapy should be continued throughout the treatment of obesity.2

But there are also pharmacological treatments, which work via several broad physiological methods, that come in two main types:

  • Short-term treatments
    • These medications are prescription treatments that are usually taken for up to 12 weeks.3
  • Long-term treatments
    • These medications are FDA approved for chronic management of obesity to help patients maintain a healthier weight as an adjunct to diet and exercise.4,5
    • Pharmacological management may help with a patient’s ability to maintain lifestyle changes that lead to a healthier weight.4,5

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1. WHO Consultation on Obesity. Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic: report of a WHO consultation. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 1999. WHO technical report series 894.

2. AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Circulation. 2014;129(25)(suppl 2):S102-S138.

3. ACOG obesity toolkit. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Accessed October 15, 2018.

4. Yanovski SZ, Yanovski JA. Long-term drug treatment for obesity: a systematic and clinical review. JAMA. 2014;311(1):74-86.

5. Garvey WT, Mechanick JI, Brett EM, et al; and Reviewers of the AACE/ACE Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for medical care of patients with obesity. Endocr Pract. 2016;22(suppl 3):1-203.

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