Obesity Algorithm®: Clinical Guidelines for Obesity Treatment

Obesity affects more than one-third of adults in the U.S. Patients with obesity are often the subjects of bias, discrimination, mistreatment, and shaming due to their weight, even (or especially) at their doctor’s offices.

Obesity is not a lifestyle choice—it’s a complex chronic disease requiring comprehensive, individualized treatment. It’s time for health care providers to stop blaming patients for having obesity and instead step up to the challenge of treating and reducing the prevalence of this disease, both in the U.S. and worldwide.

The Obesity Algorithm® is a clinical tool to help health care providers both understand the complexity of the disease of obesity and implement effective, evidence-based obesity treatment strategies with their patients. Click the button below to download a copy of the Obesity Algorithm for free!

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Using the Obesity Algorithm and Other Obesity Guidelines

Earn 1.5 CME hours with the FREE presentation, “Insights into the Patient Population with Obesity: Assessment and Treatment.” During this 1.5-hour presentation, Drs. Deborah Bade Horn, Scott Kahan, and Chris Still overview the Obesity Algorithm and other available obesity treatment guidelines and explain how you can best utilize them in practice. This presentation covers:

  • Assessing and treating patients with obesity
  • Understanding the various available guidelines
  • Evaluating obesity using various different approaches
  • Customizing obesity treatment
  • Translating recommendations into action
  • Navigating the billing system
  • Having a conversation about obesity with your patients and setting realistic expectations

About the Obesity Algorithm

The Obesity Algorithm is an educational tool written by leading experts in the field of obesity medicine. It helps clinicians navigate the steps involved in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating patients affected by obesity using a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan. In addition to weight loss, the algorithm emphasizes optimizing health, decreasing disease risk, and improving overall quality of life.

The Obesity Algorithm covers:

  • The definition of obesity
  • Evaluating and diagnosing obesity, including the physical exam and labs
  • Genetic and metabolic factors impacting obesity
  • Environmental factors impacting obesity
  • Nutrition, including the most common diet patterns
  • Physical activity and energy expenditure
  • Behavior therapy, lifestyle intervention, and motivational interviewing
  • Medication, including both anti-obesity medications and concurrent medications that may cause weight gain
  • Bariatric surgery

Clinicians may use the Obesity Algorithm as a reference when developing obesity treatment plans for patients. Primary care providers may also refer patients to an obesity medicine specialist in their area.

What’s New in the 2017 Version

The Obesity Algorithm is reviewed and updated yearly to reflect the newest and most relevant information. The 2017 version includes new sections or updates on:

  • Patient-first, non-discriminatory language
  • Recommendations for setting up your office to accommodate all patients
  • The “obesity paradox,” where an individual can have excess weight but still be metabolically healthy
  • The function of hormones
  • FDA-approved surgical procedures
  • Nutrient requirements and recommendations after bariatric surgery

Referencing the Obesity Algorithm

The Obesity Algorithm is subject to a copyright of the Obesity Medicine Association. To reference the use of this resource for educational purposes, please use the full reference:

Bays HE, Seger JC, Primack C, McCarthy W, Long J, Schmidt SL, Daniel S, Wendt J, Horn DB, Westman EC: Obesity Algorithm, presented by the Obesity Medicine Association. www.obesityalgorithm.org. 2016-2017. (Accessed = [INSERT DATE])