Obesity is a common condition and a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Fortunately, weight loss treatment can reduce obesity-related complications. This review summarizes the evidence-based strategies physicians can use to identify, prevent, and treat obesity, including best practices to diagnose and counsel patients; to assess and address the burden of weight-related disease, including weight stigma; to address secondary causes of weight gain; and to help patients set individualized and realistic weight loss goals and create an effective treatment plan. Effective treatments include lifestyle modification and adjunctive therapies, such as antiobesity medications or metabolic and bariatric surgery.

Use this article to:

  • Review the criteria for diagnosing overweight, obesity, and severe obesity.
  • Review the laboratory tests that can be helpful in the care of a patient with obesity.
  • Consult a dietitian to discuss the general dietary recommendations they provide patients who would benefit from weight loss.
  • Review the available weight loss medications and their mechanisms, indications, effectiveness, and adverse effects.
  • Ask a bariatric surgeon to review the various bariatric procedures that are commonly used.
  • Test your knowledge by completing the quiz that accompanies the article and then review the correct answers.

In the Clinic is a feature of Annals of Internal Medicine which includes practical reviews about the management of common clinical conditions.

Back to the June 2024 issue of ACP IMpact