Objective: To summarize current evidence on lifestyle management (dietary, exercise, or behavioral interventions) of obesity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), to indicate gaps in knowledge, and to review the medical and surgical alternatives for weight management.
Design: Expert panel appointed by the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society (AEPCOS Society) to review the literature and draft the initial report after a consensus process via electronic communication. The initial report was reviewed and critiqued by all expert panel members and the AEPCOS Society Board of Directors and modified based on their comments.
Conclusion(s): Lifestyle management should be used as the primary therapy in overweight and obese women with PCOS for the treatment of metabolic complications. For reproductive abnormalities, lifestyle modification may improve ovulatory function and pregnancy. Data are preliminary for improvement in pregnancy and live-birth rates, and further research is needed. There is currently no evidence that modifying dietary macronutrient composition offers additional benefits over conventional dietary approaches for weight loss, and further research is needed. Emerging evidence suggests that exercise offers additional benefits to dietary energy restriction for reproductive features of PCOS.