When treating obesity, body weight should be permanently reduced. This also means supporting patients in keeping their weight loss as long as possible.
With a permanent weight reduction, the risk of secondary diseases decreases . The work ability of those affected should be maintained and their quality of life improved.
The specific treatment that is appropriate depends on the severity of the obesity, the personal risk factors, and accompanying illnesses. The patient’s age and wishes can also influence the therapy decision.
What Can Contribute to Long-Term Weight Loss?
When diet, exercise, and behavior therapy seem to be no longer effective, medical weight loss treatment and sometimes operation can be considered.
Weight loss programs
There are weight loss programs available. As with direct treatment, these programs include advice on diet and physical activity as well as behavioral changes. They have the advantage that they can be used flexibly and from home. Reliable results on the effectiveness of internet-based weight reduction programs in Germany are not yet available.
Scientific studies have found that weight reduction programs are more effective when advice is given on a personal level and on site, for example with the doctor or with the nutritionist.
Medication: Appetite Suppressants and other meds
In certain cases of obesity, additional medication treatment may also be considered to reduce body weight. However, this option is only considered if a change in diet and more exercise alone does not lead to sufficient weight loss. Because when using medication, side effects can occur. The long-term effects of the individual drugs have also not yet been adequately investigated.
For overweight people with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 28 kg / m², the medical guideline for the “prevention and therapy of obesity” recommends treatment with medication only after consideration of additional risk factors or concomitant diseases like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes mellitus. Treatment with medication is then carried out together with the basic lifestyle change program, i.e. a healthier diet and more exercise.
Treatment with medication: 8 questions to ask the doctor
The following questions can help you weigh the benefits and harms of a planned drug treatment for obesity. You can discuss these questions with your doctor.
- How likely is it that the treatment will help me lose weight permanently?
When will it be effective and how long will it last
- Is there any harm from the treatment?
- What are the side effects and / or unwanted effects?
- How likely is it that the treatment will have side effects and / or adverse effects?
- When are these likely to occur, and how long will they last?
- Can there be interactions with other drugs or luxury foods?
- In my case, are there reasons that speak against taking medication to treat obesity, for example another disease?
In summary, weight loss with medical intervention alongside diet and exercise can be good, but it takes a lot of patience and hard work to achieve this. On a contrary, if obese people need to lose weight fast for various reasons, surgical intervention can be considered.