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Overview of the treatment of overweight and obesity

See an overview of the treatment of overweight and obesity

A personalised approach to the treatment of overweight and obesity is required. It is important to have a broad understanding of the different intervention options available to patients who wish to reduce their weight. This allows you to have more meaningful discussions with patients, and increases your ability to offer appropriate support and guidance to assist their weight management journey.

Most people can be managed in the primary care setting with supervised lifestyle interventions. These interventions include three components:

  1. Modifying diet to restrict energy intake
  2. Increasing physical activity and exercise to increase energy expenditure and minimise loss of muscle mass
  3. Supporting behaviour change to undertake a diet and physical activity/exercise program and to build long-term healthy eating and physical activity/exercise patterns to support weight loss maintenance

Physical activity and exercise -> Behaviour change support”>

For some individuals education, support and generalised advice will be enough to help them make some positive lifestyle interventions. Some individuals however, may require care in a specialist setting or referral to dieticians or psychologists for their discipline-specific focus, due to additional medical, psychological or physical co-morbidities and/or obesity class 3 (BMI >40 kg/m2). In some cases, pharmacotherapy or bariatric surgery may be needed in addition to sustained lifestyle interventions.

A useful algorithm for the treatment of obesity from the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society is shown below (reproduced from original)

Image of algorithm for treatment of obesity found at

Click on this link to read a full description of the algorithm

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EduWeight: Weight Management for Adult Patients with Chronic Disease

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