Obesity is a chronic disease that tends to progress. Clinical manifestations and etiology of this disease are well-studied. Because obesity and metabolic disorders associated with it are a serious problem reaching the level of a pandemic, researchers actively search for ways to solve this issue and suggest improved methods that show their effectiveness. In light of the proposed research, the evidence regarding the most common obesity treatment strategies will be reviewed.
According to Wadden, Webb, Moran, and Bailer (2012), obesity is a global problem that increases the risk of developing related diseases. This illness is also associated with increased mortality. One of the key strategies to address the issue of obesity is changing the lifestyle of patients. It implies adjusting their nutrition patterns and recommending the correct physical activities, which are determined for each patient individually depending on his or her age, general condition, and other factors (Wadden et al., 2012). Apart from the essential lifestyle and behavior changes, specialists can also prescribe pharmacotherapy, when necessary.
Nevertheless, approximately 60% of patients who managed to get rid of excess weight through traditional therapy cannot maintain their shape in the future. It occurs because they cannot keep reduced body weight within the next several years of follow-up (Felix & West, 2013). Moreover, in the case of morbid obesity, the effectiveness of lifestyle changes in patients is approximately 5-7%. The main reason for these negative indicators is that patients do not follow the recommended course of treatment. Moreover, the prevailing principles of nutrition routine are often employed again after the patient has been able to achieve reduced body weight. Therefore, despite the effectiveness of the traditional strategy aimed at changing the lifestyle of patients (proper nutrition and exercise), its results are considered short-term.
Apart from the approach targeted at changing the patient’s diet and exercise regime, there is a radical approach, which also proved to be effective. In particular, bariatric surgery is a surgical intervention that is performed on the organs of the patient’s digestive tract (Kalarchian, Marcus, Courcoulas, Cheng, & Levine, 2013). It allows specialists to reduce the amount of food consumed by the individual to reduce his or her bodyweight rapidly. In comparison to the traditional strategy, bariatric surgery is recommended less often, and it is indicated for the treatment of severe forms of overweight.
The main goal of surgical interventions is to prevent complications associated with obesity. Bariatric surgery provides an opportunity to achieve optimal glycemic control and the necessary parameters of lipid metabolism (Kalarchian et al., 2013). The operation ensures faster results than the traditional method does. Numerous studies have shown that bariatric surgery has several advantages over the first intervention. Moreover, patients show persistent weight loss in comparison to the traditional method of care. Importantly, according to Kalarchian et al. (2013), patients receiving recommendations for lifestyle changes before the surgery, exhibit greater weight loss than patients who received usual care before the operation. Therefore, it has been assumed that a combination of the two strategies is the most effective approach to obesity treatment.
Thus, the traditional method of treating obesity aimed at behavior and lifestyle changes is considered effective; however, its results are often short-term. In its turn, bariatric surgery has proved its effectiveness, and it ensures a persistent weight loss. Nevertheless, a combination of the two methods is considered more effective than the employment of a single strategy, and it is frequently indicated for patients suffering from severe obesity forms.
Felix, H. C., & West, D. S. (2013). Effectiveness of weight loss interventions for obese older adults. American Journal of Health Promotion, 27(3), 191-199.
Kalarchian, M. A., Marcus, M. D., Courcoulas, A. P., Cheng, Y., & Levine, M. D. (2013). Preoperative lifestyle intervention in bariatric surgery: Initial results from a randomized, controlled trial. Obesity, 21(2), 254-260.
Wadden, T. A., Webb, V. L., Moran, C. H., & Bailer, B. A. (2012). Lifestyle modification for obesity: New developments in diet, physical activity, and behavior therapy. Circulation, 125(9), 1157-1170.