Table 3.

Key Points For Clinicians Managing Obese Patients

Manage obesity as a chronic relapsing disease.
Use BMI as a tool to establish a diagnosis in obese patients and to decide on treatment.
Modest weight loss (10% reduction in total body weight) results in improvement or prevention of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.
Effective treatments exist for overweight and obese patients. Diet and exercise combined provide the best results. Use sibutramine with caution pending FDA review.
Counsel patients to achieve a goal of 10% reduction in total body weight (500 to 800 kcal/day decrease to affect 1- to 2-lb weight loss/week) rather than attain an ideal body weight
Counsel patients to exercise to achieve increased energy expenditure rather than to attain aerobic fitness.
Consider referral to a behavioral program to leverage your office counseling.
Serve as advocates for social policies that promote good nutrition and increased physical activity.
  • BMI, body mass index.