Obesity Questions & Answers

Updated: Mar 20, 2018
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is the prevalence of obesity in the US?

How is obesity defined and classified?

What comorbidities are associated with obesity?

Which lab studies are useful in the diagnosis of obesity?

How is the degree of body fat measured in obese patients?

What are the phases of weight-loss programs for obesity?

What types of drugs are used to treat obesity?

Which bariatric procedures are used in the treatment of obesity?

How is body fat percentage estimated?

Is the prevalence of obesity increasing globally?

What is the economic impact of obesity and its treatment?

What is adiposity-based chronic disease (ABCD)?

Is body weight used as an index of obesity?

How is the body mass index (BMI) (Quetelet index) calculated?

What factors may lead to an incorrect interpretation of BMI?

What is the definition of obesity based on body fat percentage?

Other than body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage, which indices are used to estimate obesity?

How is dual-energy radiographic absorptiometry (DXA) scanning used in obesity research?

What are the standard techniques for measuring visceral fat volume in obesity research?

What is the WHO obesity classification system?

How is severe obesity commonly classified in the surgical literature?

How is obesity defined in children?

What aspects of obesity are associated with comorbidity?

What comorbidities of obesity are associated with fat distribution?

What comorbidities of obesity are associated with waist circumference?

How does age of obesity onset affect risk of comorbidities?

Does elevated intra-abdominal pressure in obesity increase the risk of comorbidity?

What is the effect of obesity in osteoarthritis?

What is the effect of bariatric surgery on focal glomerulosclerosis in obesity?

How is Pickwickian syndrome related to obesity?

How does obesity affect sleep duration?

Obesity is a risk factor for which health conditions?

Which aspects of obesity increase the risk for type 2 diabetes?

How common is general and abdominal obesity in persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

What is the difference between hypertrophic versus hypercellular obesity?

What is the role of adipocytes (fat cells) in body weight control and obesity?

What are the secretory products of adipocytes?

Which enzymes are involved in adipocyte metabolism and function?

What are the possible cues that induce differentiation of preadipocytes to adipocytes?

What is the role of hormones in the pathogenesis of obesity?

What is the role of smell in the pathogenesis of obesity?

What is the role of leptin in the pathogenesis of obesity?

What is night-eating syndrome?

What is the role of the leptin gene in obesity?

Which factors are involved in the etiology of obesity?

Does inactivity in industrialized countries increase the risk of obesity?

Does hypercortisolism increase the risk of obesity in patients with affective disorders (depression) (bipolar disorder)?

What are the risk factors for severe obesity among children?

Is obesity genetic or environmental?

Is obesity hereditary?

What is the role of genetic susceptibility loci in the development of obesity?

Are there monogenic variants of obesity?

What is the role of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in the etiology of obesity?

What is the role of congenital leptin deficiency in the etiology of obesity?

What is the role of prohormone convertase in the etiology of obesity?

What is the role of PPAR-gamma in the etiology of obesity?

What is the role of infection and inflammation in the etiology of obesity?

What is the prevalence of obesity in the US?

How many deaths in the US are associated with obesity?

Does socioeconomic status affect the prevalence of obesity?

What is the global prevalence of obesity?

Is obesity more common in women or men?

Does emigration affect the prevalence of obesity?

How many people worldwide are obese?

What is the global trend in body mass index (BMI)?

Does obesity have a racial predilection?

Does obesity during childhood or adolescence increase the risk for severe obesity in adulthood?

Does obesity increase morbidity and mortality rates?

What is the mortality rate for individuals with obesity?

Does obesity reduce life expectancy?

Do obesity mortality rates differ among racial groups?

Does increased waist circumference affect risk of death?

Which factors modulate the morbidity and mortality associated with obesity?

Does obesity affect mortality in elderly people?

Are weight loss programs effective in reducing obesity?

Do caloric information labels affect food selection in low-income families?

Does a formal diagnosis of obesity motivate lifestyle changes?

Are educational, behavioral, and health promotion interventions effective in preventing obesity in children and adolescents?

Presentation

What is the typical presentation of obesity?

What should be the focus of the medical history for obesity?

Which comorbidities should be considered in patients with obesity?

What are the secondary causes of obesity?

Which measurements should be made during the physical exam in patients with obesity?

What should be included in exam of the organ systems in patients with obesity?

What should be included in exam of the extremities in patients with obesity?

DDX

What comorbidities should be considered in the diagnosis of obesity?

What are the differential diagnoses for Obesity?

Workup

What lab studies are involved in the evaluation of obesity?

What are the likely findings of a lipid panel in patients with obesity?

What do elevated transaminase levels indicate in obesity?

What are the likely findings of thyroid function tests in patents with obesity?

Why are glucose and insulin testing important in patients with obesity?

Which procedures and methods are used to measure degree of body fat in obesity?

Treatment

What should be included in lifestyle management for obesity?

Why is a multidisciplinary team beneficial in the management of obesity?

What are the Endocrine Society guidelines for the treatment of obesity?

What are the three phases of an effective weight-loss program for obesity?

What pharmacologic therapy is available for the treatment of obesity?

What surgical procedures are effective for the treatment of obesity?

What are the ACC, the AHA, and TOS treatment guidelines for obesity and one or more comorbidities?

Which complications can occur during weight loss?

What steps should be taken prior to enrolling a patient with obesity in a weight-loss program?

Screening for which psychiatric comorbidities should be completed prior to initiations of surgical, medical, or behavioral weight-loss interventions?

Why is it important to set realistic weight loss goals in patients with obesity?

How much weight loss is associated with clinically meaningful health benefits in patients with obesity?

What is a reasonable goal for weight loss in a medical treatment program for obesity?

What are the benefits of culturally adapted weight-loss programs for obesity?

What are the common factors associated with successful weight loss in patients with obesity?

What nutrients should a diet focus on for weight loss maintenance?

Are there positive health benefits after regaining weight after initial weight loss?

Why are long-term strategies needed to prevent obesity relapse?

How is childhood obesity managed?

What is the effect of weight loss on energy expenditure?

How are correction factors used in estimating energy expenditure in obese patients?

What are potential major complications of low-calorie diets for obesity?

What are very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) for obesity?

How are conventional diets for obesity classified?

What are examples of balanced, low-calorie diets and reduced-portion size diets for obesity?

What are the strategies used for reducing portion size in diets for obesity?

What is the suggested nutrient composition of diets for obesity?

Are low-carbohydrate diets safe and effective?

How similar are the effects among differing diet programs for obesity?

How effective are very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) for obesity?

When are very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) contraindicated?

Are very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) sustainable?

What are complications of very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs)?

Are preoperative very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) effective in decreasing surgical risk in patients with obesity?

Does drinking more water aid in weight loss among patients with obesity?

What screening should be done prior to initiating an intensive exercise program in patients with obesity?

What exercise provides the greatest benefit in patients with obesity?

Why is exercise important in the treatment of obesity?

What are the benefits of exercise in patients with obesity?

What is the focus of behavioral modification in patients with obesity?

How is behavioral change initiated in patients with obesity?

What is the role of sleep in obesity?

What are the FDA-approved medications for weight-loss?

Is orlistat (Xenical, Alli) effective in the treatment of obesity?

Is lorcaserin (Belviq, Belviq XR) effective in the treatment of obesity?

Is liraglutide (Saxenda) effective in the treatment of obesity?

When are phentermine and topiramate (Qsymia) indicated in the treatment of obesity?

How do bupropion and naltrexone help with the management of obesity?

Which drugs are used for short-term treatment of obesity?

Which medications are used off-label to promote weight-loss in obesity?

Are diabetes medications effective in the management of obesity?

Are antidepressants effective in the management of obesity?

What are the roles of ephedrine and caffeine in the treatment of obesity?

What is the role of cannabinoid-receptor antagonists in the treatment of obesity?

Is catechin (green tea) effective in the treatment of obesity?

What agents are being investigated for the treatment of obesity?

Is pramlintide (Symlin) FDA approved for the management of obesity?

Are peptide YY (3-36), leptin, and tagatose approved for the treatment of obesity?

Which drugs are no longer used or are ineffective in the treatment of obesity?

How are fat substitutes such as olestra (Olean) used to prevent obesity?

What are the possible adverse effects of olestra (Olean)?

Does margarine lower total and LDL-cholesterol levels?

Is bariatric surgery an effective treatment for obesity?

When should patients with obesity be considered for bariatric surgery?

What comorbidities are resolved by bariatric surgery?

Can bariatric procedures be performed laparoscopically?

What are the standard bariatric procedures for the treatment of obesity?

Is sleeve gastrectomy effective in the treatment of obesity?

Is vertical-banded gastroplasty effective in the treatment of obesity?

Is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass effective in the treatment of obesity?

Is gastric pacing effective for the treatment of obesity?

Which bariatric procedures have unclear utility in the treatment of obesity?

What are surgical complications of bariatric surgery for the treatment of obesity?

What are the possible adverse events associated with gastric resection procedures?

What are the possible adverse events associated with malabsorptive procedures for obesity?

What are the failures rates for malabsorptive procedures for obesity?

Does bariatric surgery for obesity improve quality of life?

When is inpatient care indicated for obesity?

Are public health education programs effective for obesity prevention?

Which specialists should be consulted in the treatment of obesity?

Is regular follow-up needed for long-term management of obesity?

Guidelines

What are the Endocrine Society guidelines for the treatment of obesity?

Medications

When are medications indicated for the treatment of obesity?

What are the major drug groups used to manage obesity?

Are most medications for obesity approved for short-term or long-term use?

Which medications in the drug class Gastrointestinal Agents, Other are used in the treatment of Obesity?

Which medications in the drug class CNS Stimulants, Anorexiants are used in the treatment of Obesity?

Which medications in the drug class Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Agonists are used in the treatment of Obesity?

Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, dopamine reuptake inhibitors; opioid antagonists are used in the treatment of Obesity?