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Obesity in adults: Dietary therapy

Author
George A Bray, MD
Section Editors
F Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, MPH
Timothy O Lipman, MD
Deputy Editor
Jean E Mulder, MD

INTRODUCTION

The optimal management of overweight and obesity requires a combination of diet, exercise, and behavioral modification. In addition, some patients eventually require pharmacologic therapy or bariatric surgery. The risk of overweight to the subject should be evaluated before beginning any treatment program. Selection of treatment can then be made using a risk-benefit assessment (figure 1). The choice of therapy is dependent on several factors including the degree of overweight or obesity and patient preference.

This topic will review the dietary therapy of obesity. Other aspects of treatment are discussed separately. (See "Obesity in adults: Health hazards" and "Obesity in adults: Overview of management" and "Obesity in adults: Drug therapy" and "Obesity in adults: Behavioral therapy".)

GOALS OF WEIGHT LOSS

It is important to set goals when discussing a dietary weight loss program with an individual patient. An initial weight loss goal of 5 to 7 percent of body weight is realistic for most individuals.

The first goal for any overweight individual is to prevent further weight gain and keep body weight stable (within 5 pounds of its current level).

The goal of the clinician is to identify and review with the patient a realistic weight loss goal. Most patients have a weight loss goal of 30 percent or more below current weight, which is unrealistic [1].

                    

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Wed Jun 15 00:00:00 GMT 2016.
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