Clin Plast Surg. 1996 Oct;23(4):671-80; discussion 681.


Obesity is a heterogeneous family of disorders with several overlapping contributory causes. It markedly increases morbidity and mortality from many different diseases, and affected patients are the targets of severe, negative social pressures. Physicians traditionally have been unsuccessful in treating obesity. The usual physician's office approach to obese persons is to conduct a good history and physical examination and then prescribe a 4200-J diet sheet and monthly or biomonthly office visits. This approach usually produces mild and ephemeral weight loss. Some patients quickly become disillusioned and manifest as appointment "no-shows." The doctor often bemoans the lack of will power of his or her ex-patient. Such patients and their physicians would be better served by referral to a professional weight management program, in which a coordinated team approach has proven effective and persistent in body weight control. "He that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat."

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / surgery
  • Male
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / surgery*