Obesity is one of the most serious and prevalent non-communicable diseases of the 21st century. It is also a patient-centered condition in which affected individuals seek treatment through a variety of commercial, medical and surgical approaches. Considering obesity as a chronic medical disease state helps to frame the concept of using a three-stepped intensification of care approach to weight management. As a foundation, all patients should be counseled on evidence-based lifestyle approaches that include diet, physical activity and behavior change therapies. At the second tier, two new pharmacological agents, phentermine-topiramate and lorcaserin, were approved in 2012 as adjuncts to lifestyle modification. The third step, bariatric surgery, has been demonstrated to be the most effective and long-term treatment for individuals with severe obesity or moderate obesity complicated by comorbid conditions that is not responsive to non-surgical approaches. By using a medical model, clinicians can provide more proactive and effective treatments in assisting their patients with weight loss.
Keywords: AMA; American Medical Association; BMI; Bariatric surgery; CV; Diet; FDA; Food and Drug Administration; LAGB; LSG; Lifestyle; Obesity; PA; PHEN/TPM; Pharmacology; RYGB; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; T2D; body mass index; cardiovascular; laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding; laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy; phentermine and topiramate; physical activity; type 2 diabetes.