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New Obesity Guidelines Released at Obesity Week

the obesity societyYesterday, here in at Obesity Week in Atlanta, The Obesity Society (in partnership with the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology) released jointly developed comprehensive treatment recommendations to help healthcare providers tailor weight-loss treatments to adult patients affected by overweight or obesity.

As is always the case with such guidelines, a considerable amount of work and effort goes into producing them, particularly in ensuring that the recommendations are based on the best available scientific evidence.

This is where many get upset to see their “favourite” treatments either watered-down or ignored. This is simply because much of what is touted as the “best way to lose weight” is simply not supported by scientifically robust evidence. Indeed, lack of actual scientific evidence is not something most folks offering “weight loss” solutions lose much sleep over – hope sells!

Thus, for much of what you may think of as “well established” (e.g. cutting carbs) – the scientific data from high-quality studies is less than conclusive.

This has of course never stopped “ideologists” from preaching the guaranteed success of their pet diet, exercise, supplement, or gadget as gospel.

Unfortunately, as a result of this reliance on the actual evidence-base, guidelines almost never make for exciting reading (which is perhaps why far too many practitioners simply ignore them). Often, too much is simply “motherhood and apple pie” – the actually new and controversial stuff is just that – new and controversial.

Nevertheless, I will definitely be going through these guidelines with careful attention to what I think will be most useful in clinical practice and hopefully make a difference in our care of obese patients.

I am certain that there will be more to report regarding specific aspects of these new guidelines as I have a chance to review them at length and discuss some of the recommendations with my colleagues here at Obesity Week.

Find the print and online citation for the guidelines here. The Obesity Society President Harvey Grill, PhD, offers his thoughts on the guidelines here.

Please feel free to offer your own thoughts on these guidelines in the comments section below.

Atlanta, GA

Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Donato KA, Apovian CM, Ard JD, Comuzzie AG, Hu FB, Hubbard VS, Jakicic JM, Kushner RF, Loria CM, McMurry KY, Millen BE, Nonas CA, Pi-Sunyer FX, Stevens J, Stevens VJ, Wadden TA, Wolfe BM, Yanovski SZ. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the man- agement of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiol- ogy/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Obesity 2013. Published online before print November 12, 2013.


  1. I looked up the guidelines, They said it was available for a price. How much does it cost – I couldn’t see how much before I went to the site to buy it.

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  2. @Anonymous, you might want to read the highlights. They seem to include sage advice like moderately reduce your caloric consumption, increase your activity level and change your behavior around food. They forgot to mention to take your vitamins, get plenty of fresh air and listen to your mother. It only took them thirteen years to come up with these. Save your money, go for a nice walk and ponder why it would take brilliant people thirteen years to tell you to eat less and move more with the added caveat that your diet should be individualized to your health and food preference history. This and a more positive outlook for bariatric surgery ( but G-d forbid we should choose one procedure over another) are the deep thoughts that seem to be emanating from Atlanta this week. If I seem a little snippy this afternoon, it’s only because I think our community deserves better than this repackaged yesterday’s news. Very disappointing.

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  3. How can you say cutting carbs is not backed up by data? Every study has shown it performs as well, and usually better, than other interventions. Sweden looked at 16000 studies and found the data compelling enough to make low carb, high fat a national recommendation.

    Perhaps its not because it doesn’t have data, but because it would require admitting they were wrong.

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