Screening For Obesity Now Recommended For All IndividualsPosted: Jul 17 in Medical Weight Loss News by Dr. Lazarus
Earlier this month, both the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) updated their recommendations regarding Obesity. For the first time, both now recommend that all adults be screened for obesity. Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more should be offered or referred to intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions.
This recommendation is given with evidence level B, which is equally important. It means that scientific evidence suggests that the benefits of the recommended intervention (multicomponent behavioral interventions) outweigh the potential risks.
This is huge news for several reasons:
- Obesity is being recognized as a disease
- Obesity is being recognized as a complex problem requiring multicomponent intervention
- Clinical treatment of obesity (rather than surgical) is now recommended
- Two new drugs have been approved to help treat obesity as a medical disease
- A new board, the American Board of Obesity Medicine has been formed to certify Doctors as obesity medicine specialists. (Dr. Lazarus will be taking the new board exam in its first round later this year, and is helping teach the certification courses through the American Society of Bariatric Physicians).
With this recommendation, it is my opinion that obesity treatment will become a diagnosis payable by insurance companies.
- The recommendation suggests the following interventions:
- Behavioral management activities
- Improving diet or nutrition and increasing physical activity
- Addressing barriers to change
- Strategizing how to maintain lifestyle changes
Sound familiar? These recommendations are right in-line with the practices of Clinical Nutrition Center. (Of course, in addition, we offer comprehensive medical evaluation and treatment to further increase an individual’s odds of successful treatment – I wish the guideline had included this in the list of recommendations).
The guideline goes on to state that “Adequate evidence indicates that intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions for obese adults can lead to weight loss, as well as improved glucose tolerance and other physiologic risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”