Evidence-based recommendations for the management of overweight and obesity have been developed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology; the guidelines were published in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Michael D. Jensen, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues developed evidence-based guidelines to assist clinicians in primary care with the management of overweight and obesity in adults.

According to the guidelines, patients who need to lose weight and are at risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality should be identified on the basis of their body mass index and waist circumference. Overweight and obese adults with cardiovascular risk factors should be advised that lifestyle changes that induce sustained weight loss of 3 to 5 percent will result in clinically meaningful health benefits, and that greater weight loss will result in greater benefits.

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Dietary strategies should be employed for weight loss, including reduced calorie or food intake, and should be based on a patient’s preferences and health status. Comprehensive lifestyle interventions should be recommended to help with adherence to dietary strategies and increase physical activity. Bariatric surgery should be recommended for eligible patients.

“We hope that by laying out the scientific evidence that medically supervised weight loss works and significantly reduces the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, it will be more fully embraced by patients and doctors,” Donna Ryan, M.D., co-chair of the writing committee, said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, nutrition, and weight loss industries.