Obesity Medicine Gets More Tools

sharma-obesity-medications6This week I am in Boston attending Obesity Week, the annual conference co-hosted by The Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

As I sit through the lectures and the hundreds of abstract presentations I find that I need to keep reminding myself that obesity medicine is about making people living with obesity healthier and feel better and not just about helping them lose weight.

Indeed, patients who manage to adopt healthier behaviours may well experience significant improvements in their health even with minimal weight loss.

That said, it is encouraging to note that (at least in the US), the landscape of obesity management is potentially changing.

There are now at least five medications on the US market for treating obesity and there may soon be a sixth. This is a dramatic change in the pharmacotherapeutic landscape for this condition from just a few years ago.

Not surprisingly, the conference features a number of sessions and symposia on the use of these medications, which will hopefully, help make obesity a much more manageable condition than simply relying on the rather ineffective model of “diet and exercise”.

Will these medications find their way into clinical practice and deliver what they promise – I sure hope so, but only time will tell.

Nevertheless, it is encouraging to note that we may well be getting closer to offering more effective treatments to our patients living with obesity.

Boston, MA