Letters to the Editor

Medications to Treat Obesity Lack Patient-Oriented Evidence


Am Fam Physician. 2018 Jan 1;97(1):8.

Original Article: Update on Office-Based Strategies for the Management of Obesity

Issue Date: September 1, 2016

See additional reader comments at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0901/p361.html

To the Editor: Drs. Erlandson and colleagues provided a useful overview about obesity management. However, the article did not discuss the lack of patient-oriented evidence for medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of obesity. These medications can help with weight loss, but none have been shown to reduce cardiovascular morbidity or mortality.1 Although these new treatments have been FDA approved, that does not mean that they are definitively safe, cheaper, or more effective than older options. Helping patients with lifestyle modifications and improving social determinants of health is more effective to achieve and maintain weight loss and positive long-term health outcomes.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.


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

Send letters to afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680. Include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.



Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Sep 2021

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article