Despite the potential benefits of weight loss intervention programs, Peter Salgo, MD, and panelists Maria Lopes, MD, MS; Kari Uusinarkaus, MD, FAAFP, FNLA; Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, MBA; and Yehuda Handelsman, MD, FACP, FACE, FNLA, explain that many barriers affect the outcomes of these programs.
Dr Salgo emphasizes that weight reduction is a crucial part of diabetes care; lifestyle modifications such as losing weight, making dietary changes, and increasing physical activity level are recommended for patients with diabetes. However, Dr Salgo explains that adherence to lifestyle modifications is challenging for many patients.
Dr Lopes agrees that lifestyle modification and wellness programs work; however, they are successful in only a minority of patients. Dr Uusinarkaus adds that healthcare professionals need to select the right patients for the right programs; ultimately, patients need to be inspired to be responsible for their own health.
Drs Handelsman and Dunn discuss the high costs associated with weight loss intervention programs, and consider what parties should be responsible for program expenses.
Together, the panelists conclude that a stronger governmental and societal approach can help combat the obesity epidemic.