Endocr Pract. 2016 Jul:22 Suppl 3:1-203. doi: 10.4158/EP161365.GL. Epub 2016 May 24.


Objective: Development of these guidelines is mandated by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Board of Directors and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) Board of Trustees and adheres to published AACE protocols for the standardized production of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs).

Methods: Recommendations are based on diligent review of clinical evidence with transparent incorporation of subjective factors.

Results: There are 9 broad clinical questions with 123 recommendation numbers that include 160 specific statements (85 [53.1%] strong [Grade A]; 48 [30.0%] intermediate [Grade B], and 11 [6.9%] weak [Grade C], with 16 [10.0%] based on expert opinion [Grade D]) that build a comprehensive medical care plan for obesity. There were 133 (83.1%) statements based on strong (best evidence level [BEL] 1 = 79 [49.4%]) or intermediate (BEL 2 = 54 [33.7%]) levels of scientific substantiation. There were 34 (23.6%) evidence-based recommendation grades (Grades A-C = 144) that were adjusted based on subjective factors. Among the 1,790 reference citations used in this CPG, 524 (29.3%) were based on strong (evidence level [EL] 1), 605 (33.8%) were based on intermediate (EL 2), and 308 (17.2%) were based on weak (EL 3) scientific studies, with 353 (19.7%) based on reviews and opinions (EL 4).

Conclusion: The final recommendations recognize that obesity is a complex, adiposity-based chronic disease, where management targets both weight-related complications and adiposity to improve overall health and quality of life. The detailed evidence-based recommendations allow for nuanced clinical decision-making that addresses real-world medical care of patients with obesity, including screening, diagnosis, evaluation, selection of therapy, treatment goals, and individualization of care. The goal is to facilitate high-quality care of patients with obesity and provide a rational, scientific approach to management that optimizes health outcomes and safety.

Abbreviations: A1C = hemoglobin A1c AACE = American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists ACE = American College of Endocrinology ACSM = American College of Sports Medicine ADA = American Diabetes Association ADAPT = Arthritis, Diet, and Activity Promotion Trial ADHD = attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder AHA = American Heart Association AHEAD = Action for Health in Diabetes AHI = apnea-hypopnea index ALT = alanine aminotransferase AMA = American Medical Association ARB = angiotensin receptor blocker ART = assisted reproductive technology AUC = area under the curve BDI = Beck Depression Inventory BED = binge eating disorder BEL = best evidence level BLOOM = Behavioral Modification and Lorcaserin for Overweight and Obesity Management BLOSSOM = Behavioral Modification and Lorcaserin Second Study for Obesity Management BMI = body mass index BP = blood pressure C-SSRS = Columbia Suicidality Severity Rating Scale CAD = coronary artery disease CARDIA = Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults CBT = cognitive behavioral therapy CCO = Consensus Conference on Obesity CHF = congestive heart failure CHO = carbohydrate CI = confidence interval COR-I = Contrave Obesity Research I CPG = clinical practice guideline CV = cardiovascular CVD = cardiovascular disease DASH = Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension DBP = diastolic blood pressure DEXA = dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry DPP = Diabetes Prevention Program DSE = diabetes support and education EL = evidence level ED = erectile dysfunction ER = extended release EWL = excess weight loss FDA = Food and Drug Administration FDG = 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose GABA = gamma-aminobutyric acid GERD = gastroesophageal reflux disease GI = gastrointestinal GLP-1 = glucagon-like peptide 1 HADS = Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale HDL-c = high-density lipoprotein cholesterol HR = hazard ratio HTN = hypertension HUNT = Nord-Trøndelag Health Study ICSI = intracytoplasmic sperm injection IFG = impaired fasting glucose IGT = impaired glucose tolerance ILI = intensive lifestyle intervention IVF = in vitro fertilization LAGB = laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding LDL-c = low-density lipoprotein cholesterol LES = lower esophageal sphincter LSG = laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy LV = left ventricle LVH = left ventricular hypertrophy LVBG = laparoscopic vertical banded gastroplasty MACE = major adverse cardiovascular events MAOI = monoamine oxidase inhibitor MI = myocardial infarction MNRCT = meta-analysis of non-randomized prospective or case-controlled trials MRI = magnetic resonance imaging MUFA = monounsaturated fatty acid NAFLD = nonalcoholic fatty liver disease NASH = nonalcoholic steatohepatitis NES = night eating syndrome NHANES = National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys NHLBI = National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute NHS = Nurses' Health Study NICE = National Institute for Health and Care Excellence OA = osteoarthritis OGTT = oral glucose tolerance test OR = odds ratio OSA = obstructive sleep apnea PHQ-9 = Patient Health Questionnaire PCOS = polycystic ovary syndrome PCP = primary care physician POMC = pro-opiomelanocortin POWER = Practice-Based Opportunities for Weight Reduction PPI = proton pump inhibitor PRIDE = Program to Reduce Incontinence by Diet and Exercise PSA = prostate specific antigen QOL = quality of life RA = receptor agonist RCT = randomized controlled trial ROC = receiver operator characteristic RR = relative risk RYGB = Roux-en-Y gastric bypass SAD = sagittal abdominal diameter SBP = systolic blood pressure SCOUT = Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcome Trial SG = sleeve gastrectomy SHBG = sex hormonebinding globulin SIEDY = Structured Interview on Erectile Dysfunction SNRI = serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors SOS = Swedish Obese Subjects SS = surveillance study SSRI = selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors STORM = Sibutramine Trial on Obesity Reduction and Maintenance TCA = tricyclic antidepressant TONE = Trial of Nonpharmacologic Intervention in the Elderly TOS = The Obesity Society T2DM = type 2 diabetes mellitus UKPDS = United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study U.S = United States VAT = visceral adipose tissue VLDL = very low-density lipoprotein WC = waist circumference WHO = World Health Organization WHR = waist-hip ratio WHtR = waist-to-height ratio WMD = weighted mean difference WOMAC = Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index XENDOS = XEnical in the Prevention of Diabetes in Obese Subjects.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States