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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

OBESITY/LIFESTYLE MEDICINE

Abstract

Obesity is soon to be the number one killer in the United States. Currently, approximately 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. By 2030 over half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese. Instruction in nutrition, exercise guidelines, and energy metabolism are sorely lacking in medical education programs. This, unfortunately, leaves medical practitioners woefully unprepared in the treatment of obesity. Obesity was classified by the American Medical Association as a disease in 2013. This has allowed for reimbursement for obesity treatment programs within primary care.

Obesity is a disease that is the precursor for many of the most common maladies treated in primary care. If primary care clinicians had more confidence in implementing an obesity medicine protocol in their practice, they would be able to treat their patients in a more holistic and natural manner. By helping their patients lose weight, primary care clinicians can halt and even reverse conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux, anxiety, depression, polycystic ovarian syndrome, biliary disease, and hypogonadism to name a few. Considering its inflammatory nature, reduction of adipose can also lead to significant risk reduction for coronary artery disease, stroke, and many forms of cancer.

This article reviews the myriad of non-surgical weight loss methods that exist. The goal of the article is to provide the primary care provider with enough knowledge of the science of obesity management that they can then begin addressing it directly through dietary intervention, exercise prescription, and pharmacologic modalities.

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