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Why Physicians Need to Evaluate Treating Obesity With Physical Activity


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Maintaining highly intense exercise regimes is often unsustainable for most people with overweight and obesity.

As the number of Americans struggling to manage their weight continues to grow, so has the clinical understanding of this complex but treatable condition. We know that there are hormonal and metabolic differences between people who live with obesity and those who do not. There is a range of effective treatment options for obesity, including behavior modification and cognitive therapies, as well as pharmacological and surgical interventions. We also know that there are limitations to physical activity’s effectiveness on weight loss and obesity management.

Maintaining highly intense exercise regimes is often unsustainable for most people with overweight and obesity. Clinicians and other health care professionals must prioritize educating themselves on best practices for effectively integrating physical activity into obesity treatment plans.

Health care professionals should keep the following best practices in mind when collaborating with patients on obesity treatment plans:

  • Keep patients grounded: Create realistic expectations of weight loss results, and help patients start to take a longer-term view of the weight loss journey. This helps to curb burnout or frustration with the process.  
  • Slow and steady wins the race: Help patients learn their exercise level and collaborate on finding ways to support and gradually increase the intensity. This can minimize the risk of exercise-related injury from doing too much, too fast.
  • Get things going: Help patients make the first step by connecting them with an easy-to-follow plan that incorporates physical activity into their everyday lives rather than jumping into the gym. A comfortable place to start is advising patients to walk a certain number of steps each day and gradually increase that footprint over time.
  • Reframe it: Keep the myriad positive outcomes, help them understand that exercise is just one part of a broader plan of care to improve their overall health. This insight can make it easier for patients to prioritize physical activity every day.
  • Grow your obesity medicine knowledge: Health care professionals can better meet the needs of this rapidly growing segment of Americans by deepening their understanding of obesity medicine. 

The number of Americans struggling with obesity may be growing — but so is your knowledge of how to effectively treat the condition. Health care professionals who bring this knowledge into their practice areas can play a more active role in guiding patients with obesity to better health outcomes.

About Us: For more than 40 years, Robard Corporation’s obesity treatment programs have been utilized by physicians, surgeons, and hospitals across the United States to successfully treat patients living with obesity. To learn more, visit us online at, email us at, or call (800) 222-9201. 

SOURCES: Nature Clinical Practice Endocrinology & Metabolism, Medical Economics
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