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Guidelines on Obesity Treatment: What You Need to Know

Guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology were released on November 12, 2013.

Reduce Weight to Reduce Health Problems

Obesity-related health problems and the risk of heart disease and stroke can be reduced with significant weight loss.

The obesity guidelines encourage people to lose weight, with the goal of losing 5 to 10 percent of their body weight over the next six to 12 months. (Even losing just 3 to 5 percent of body weight gives health benefits, so people should not be discouraged if they do not reach their targets right away).

Build the Best Weight Loss Program for You

There is no single “best” diet. People should choose a way to cut calories that suits their tastes, health status and lifestyle.

Diet is only part of the equation.  People who need to lose weight should be offered a comprehensive program for at least six months that includes diet, physical activity and techniques to change their eating behavior. The best programs, however, last at least a year.

Bariatric surgery is recommended for people who have a BMI (body mass index) above 40. People with a BMI above 35 along with a health problem may also be advised to have the weight loss surgery.