- The Task Force agrees with the opinion of prominent medical societies that current scientific evidence supports the view that obesity is a disease.
- Weight loss produces many benefits including risk factor improvement, prevention of disease, and improvements in feeling and function. Greater weight loss produces greater benefits, but modest (5%–10%) weight loss,
such as that produced by lifestyle modifications and medications, has been shown to produce significant improvements in many conditions.
- Medications used for the management of conditions other than obesity can contribute to or exacerbate weight gain in susceptible individuals. Many of these conditions are also associated with obesity.
- Health care providers can help patients prevent or attenuate weight gain by appropriately prescribing medications that would promote weight loss or minimize weight gain when treating these conditions.
- Health care providers can help selected patients successfully lose weight and maintain lost weight by appropriately prescribing weight loss medications or
in some cases surgical intervention as an adjunct to lifestyle change.
Table 1. Causes of Obesity
- Genetic causes
- Monogenic disorders
- Melanocortin-4 receptor mutation
- Leptin deficiency
- Pro-opiomelanocortin deficiency
- Brain injury
- Brain tumor
- Consequences of cranial irradiation
- Hypothalamic obesity
- Cushing syndrome
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Eating disorders
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Oral contraceptives
a Controversial whether hypothyroidism causes obesity or exacerbates obesity.
b Depression associated with overeating or binging.
Table 2. Comorbid Conditions in Obesity and Evidence for Amelioration with Weight Reduction
Comorbidity and Improvement After Weight Loss
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)
- Hypertension (HTN)
- Dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Variable outcomes
- Major depression
- Insufficient evidence
- Obstructive sleep apnea