New Obesity Guidelines Published

Most of our readers must have lost count of how many times we have pointed out that obesity is a complex issue. Whilst this has often referred to the development of obesity or the challenges of weight loss, it is also worth considering how obesity can affect the development of co-morbidities such as poor cardiovascular heath. That’s why we were keen to read about the new guidelines that were developed for obesity treatment in the US.

The guidelines were created in collaboration between the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. In addition to that, the Obesity Society had an input in the development of obesity specific guidelines (which were last updated 15years ago).

The new guidelines suggested that clinicians should identify at risk patients at an earlier stage and recommend treatments such as interventions, diets or prescription medication. All of these were to considered in a combination, rather than on their individual merits. Rather than heralding one ultimate diet, the guidelines suggested that certain diets may be more suitable for certain needs. As an example it was highlighted that a Mediterranean diet would be useful to help individuals at risk for cardiovascular illnesses.

Whilst most experts met the guidelines enthusiastically, some critics argued that more needed to be done. We feel that the guidelines were effective in highlighting that treatment for obesity should start at an earlier stage where possible, and were glad to see that they highlighted a holistic view of a patient. Whilst these are not the current guidelines in the UK, they do carry a message that may be worth considering universally.