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Obesity Treatments


Obesity is difficult to treat. Things that affect treatment are:

  • Cultural factors
  • Personal habits
  • Lifestyle
  • Genetics

There are many different approaches to treating obesity. You are more likely to successfully lose weight and keep it off by using a combination of strategies, like diet, exercise, counseling, and/or medication. Talk to your doctor or ask for a referral to a dietician . They can help you develop a plan that is best for you. Plans for weight loss may include:


Your doctor may recommend that you:

  • Reduce saturated and trans fats
  • Limit the amount of refined carbohydrates that you eat
  • Keep fat intake under 35% of total calories eaten daily

Calorie Intake

According to a recent study, the key to weight loss is in reducing the amount of calories that you consume, rather than following a specific kind of diet (like a low-carb diet). It is much more important to choose a low calorie diet you can stick with for the long haul. A dietitian can help you with your total calorie intake goal. This is based on your:

  • Current weight
  • Weight loss goals

Portion size also plays an important role. Using special portion control plates may help you succeed.

Food Diary

Keep track of everything you eat and drink.


Ask your doctor about an exercise program.

Add bits of activity through your day. Take stairs instead of elevators. Park a little further away. Limit the amount of time you spend watching television and using the computer. This is particularly important for children.

Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy may help you understand:

  • When you tend to overeat
  • Why you tend to overeat
  • How to combat overeating habits

Weight Loss Programs

Weight loss programs do seem to work for some people. Some studies also suggest that a partner or group may help you improve your diet and fitness.


Weight loss medications include:

Medications alone are not a viable option for losing weight and keeping it off. Some have led to serious side effects. Do not use over-the-counter or herbal remedies without talking to your doctor.

Treatment for Children and Teens

The problem of obesity, of course, is not restricted to adults. There is evidence that the same changes in diet, exercise, and other behaviors can help children and teens lose weight. For example, kids may find success by participating in group therapy that focuses on diet and behavior changes.

When added to lifestyle changes, medicines (eg, sibutramine, orlistat) have also been shown to help obese children and teens lose weight, though careful monitoring for potential adverse effects is required. In some cases, bariatric surgery, such as gastric banding, may be an option for teens who are obese.

Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery reduces the size of the stomach. In some cases, it will also rearrange the digestive tract. The smaller stomach can only hold a tiny portion of food at a time. Procedures include:

These procedures may be a good option for people who are severely obese who are having trouble losing weight by other means.

Gastric Bypass

© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2018 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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