Clinicians should screen all adults for obesity and offer or refer patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher to intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions, says a recommendation issued Tuesday by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). When selecting interventions, clinicians should consider other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a patient's readiness for change, social support and community resources that support behavioral change, and other health care and preventive service priorities. The task force further recommends that health care professionals offer or refer people who are obese to a comprehensive weight loss and behavior management program with 12 to 26 sessions in the first year.
Supporting documents and related items on the recommendation, which include a clinical summary, consumer fact sheet, news bulletin, and evidence synthesis, are available on USPSTF's website.
In a separate recommendation, USPSTF determined that for people who have low risk for heart disease, counseling to encourage healthy lifestyle choices, such as a healthful diet and physical activity, offers only small benefits in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. The task force also states that this counseling may be beneficial to some people, depending on their individual risk factors, including known cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
These recommendations are available in the Annals of Internal Medicine and on the task force website.