Canadian Obesity Guidelines Double CMAJ’s Impact Factor

There can be little doubt in anyone’s minds that the 2020 release of the Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines on Adult Obesity, a summary of which was published in CMAJ, represents both a landmark and a watershed in obesity medicine. 

Within 48 hours of its release, it received over 80 miillion media impressions around the world and the CMAJ summary was the #1 downloaded article on the CMAJ website in 2020. 

Just how large the impact of these guidelines were, is perhaps best reflected by the recent “thank you” note to the authors from Kirsten Patrick, Editor-in-Chief of the CMAJ, which notes:

I’m writing to thank you for contributing to CMAJ’s doubling its Impact Factor (IF) in this year’s report! CMAJ’s 2021 IF is 16.859. The highly-influential Guideline that you and your colleagues published in CMAJ in 2020 contributed to this big jump. Thanks for choosing CMAJ for your publication. I hope you’ll choose us again.”

In fact, according to Google Scholar, the guidelines have already been cited in over 150 articles and downloads of the PDF from the CMAJ website continues at a steady clip of over 2000 a month.  

This rather spectacular attention to these clinical practice guidelines (generally a rather mundane event that rarely catches the attention of lay media), is testament to the tremendous efforts and forward-thinking approach taken by the over 60 authors, who in 19 chapters layout our current thinking and evidence for addressing obesity as a chronic disease in clinical practice. 

While I congratulate CMAJ on this spectacular jump in its impact factor, I can only hope that this attention is reflected in the implementation of the over 80 recommendations by payers and health authorities as well as any health practitioners involved in obesity care.

As our knowledge continues to advance, I look forward to the continuing updates of these guidelines to ensure that these advances continue to improve the lives of the people living with obesity. 

Berlin, D