Patient-centered care of the patient with obesity

Academic Article


  • As medical societies transition to a new perspective on obesity as a disease rather than primarily a behavioral concern, many are recommending treatment approaches that include a broader and more individualized disease-management framework. This overview of patient-centered care for patients who have overweight or obesity summarizes new perspectives and recommends treatment strategies with demonstrated efficacy for weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. The complex pathophysiology of obesity and its associated comorbidities illuminates the difficulties of weight management. However, even modest weight loss can result in improved obesity-related comorbidities and metabolic health. Health care practitioners and physicians can use effective communication and counseling skills to explore patients' feelings on weight management and determine their willingness to implement lifestyle interventions. Lifestyle management for overweight or obesity should include healthy meal planning, increased physical activity, and behavioral interventions comprising counseling and social support, all tailored to meet individual patient needs. Some patients who are unable to lose weight or maintain weight loss with lifestyle intervention alone may benefit from pharmacotherapy added to their obesity management strategy. There are now a variety of weight-loss medications available to prescribe; treatment decisions should take into account patient-related, biologic, and pharmacotherapeutic factors, such as patient preference and treatment comorbidities, drug interactions, and side effects. Only when these strategies are applied to treat obesity as a disease, rather than a behavioral problem, can we help improve patient outcomes.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Garvey WT; Hurley DL; Kushner RF
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 21
  • Volume

  • 22