The Heterogeneity of Obesity: Fitting Treatments To Individuals – Republished Article


Journal Article

© 2016 Body weight is regulated by a complex interaction of biological, behavioral, and cultural factors. The population as a whole is at risk for obesity because of increased intake of dietary fat, the consumption of calories in fewer meals per day, striking accessibility to palatable foods, and decreased physical activity. This risk may become a reality in individuals with certain biological predispositions (genetic tendency, low metabolic rate, increased fat cell number), specific eating patterns, and susceptibility to the extreme cultural pressure to be lean. These factors must be considered in establishing goals for treatment, which fall into medical and psychosocial categories. This includes defining a “reasonable” as opposed to “ideal” weight. A three-stage process is proposed for identifying the best treatment for an individual. This involves a classification decision, a stepped care decision, and then a matching decision. Criteria are provided for a comprehensive assessment of the overweight individual, and treatment options are reviewed for programs of varying intensity, cost, and risk.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brownell, KD; Wadden, TA

Published Date

  • November 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 950 - 965

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-1888

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0005-7894

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.beth.2016.11.009

Citation Source

  • Scopus