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Obesity care algorithm

ASBP develop algorithm to guide physicians in obesity care

The algorithm emphasises patients' overall health and reducing their risk of developing obesity-linked conditions

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) has published an algorithm to help physicians navigate medical treatment for obesity care. Researchers have developed and written an obesity algorithm, which aims to provide all physicians with training and tools for prescribing and implementing an obesity treatment plan, tailored to each patient.

The algorithm emphasises patients' overall health and reducing their risk of developing obesity-linked conditions. Following an examination of current lifestyle and family history, a physical examination, and laboratory testing, specific changes will be recommended. These changes relate to diet and nutrition, physical activity, counselling, and medication, as appropriate.

"Physicians are now confronted with the need to understand what makes obesity a disease and how patients affected by obesity are best managed," said Deborah Bade Horn, ASBP president-elect and Algorithm Committee co-chair. "They can benefit from the algorithm, which compiles the experience of researchers and clinicians who engage in obesity treatment on a day-to-day basis."

The society claims this is the first-ever comprehensive algorithm that navigates the physician's role in medically treating and caring for patients affected by obesity.

The ASBP Obesity aims to give all physicians training and tools for prescribing and implementing obesity treatment plans for patients. Among these plans, changes in nutrition, exercise and behavior are included. Physicians may also recommend weight-loss medications or discuss surgical options for excess fat reduction.

"This will help give physicians a better opportunity to manage patients affected by obesity in the most compassionate, scientifically sound and cost-effective way possible," said Dr Jennifer Seger, ASBP Trustee and Algorithm Committee Co-chair.

The algorithm emphasizes patients' overall health and reduction in risk of developing associated conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease and depression. Changes will only be recommended following an examination of the patient's current lifestyle, family history, physical exam and laboratory testing. The algorithm will aid physicians in determining whether these results warrant a need for intervening obesity treatment and what that care would look like.

The algorithm also offers suggestions for affordable treatment options. Physicians can use the algorithm to create individualised treatment plans for patients, providing them with optimal obesity care at an affordable cost.

The ASBP Obesity Algorithm, a summary about how physicians can use the algorithm, the Medical Obesity Treatment Options Fact Sheet, and a patient-friendly infographic, is available as a free download from here

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