Obesity and weight management at menopause

Aust Fam Physician. 2017 Jun;46(6):368-370.


Background: Many women report gaining weight as they transition through menopause. For most, the weight gain is modest and can be reduced with a conscious effort to limit energy intake and increase energy expenditure. However, many women who are already overweight and obese will gain more weight as they approach menopause.

Objective: The aims of this paper are to explain the reasons for menopausal weight gain and to detail a method for achieving and sustaining a substantial weight loss.

Discussion: Weight gain during menopause is predominantly due to a reduction in spontaneous activity. For women who are lean, advice about controlling energy intake and increasing physical activity may be all that is required to prevent weight gain. For women who are overweight and obese rapid weight loss is best achieved with the help of a very low energy diet. This must be followed by lifelong behaviour modification with or without the help of hunger-suppressing pharmacotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight Maintenance / physiology*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Menopause / metabolism*
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates