Elyse Watkins, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Obesity is a world-wide pandemic that the medical community must begin to focus on. Treatment of patients with obesity is clinically significant as it is one of the most common disorders seen in medicine to date. While obesity in and of itself is a single disease process; it also places the patient at risk for additional comorbidities. Patients with obesity are at increased risk for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, diabetes mellitus, stroke, coronary artery disease, depression, osteoarthritis, a variety of cancers, and early death.
With just under half of Americans suffering from this disease, it is vitally important that medical personnel know how to positively educate and motivate their patients to make lifelong changes to their health and wellness routines. It is critically important that medical personnel feel confident to provide quality care regarding obesity to increase patient health benefits and reduce the risk of comorbidities. The internist and family practice provider must begin to familiarize themselves with the available anti-obesity medications (AOMs) and begin to discuss openly and honestly these options with their patients.
When used in the correctly identified adult obese patient, AOMs are safe, effective, and beneficial for the patient’s long-term health. Orlistat is not a preferred option for weight loss due to poor patient compliance from its side effect profile. Current recommended options include Phentermine-Topiramate, Bupropion-naltrexone, and Liraglutide.
Simco KJ. Halting a Silent Pandemic: The Fight Against Adult Obesity. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2021; 3(3).
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