The prevention and treatment of obesity

NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
Record ID 31999008320
Authors' objectives:

This report summarises research evidence on the effectiveness of interventions designed to prevent and treat obesity, and to maintain weight loss.

Authors' recommendations: The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity is an important public health problem contributing to significant excess disease and mortality. Health of the Nation targets on obesity are unlikely to be met. Even modest weight loss is associated with health benefits. Progression of obesity in high-risk children may be prevented by family therapy. Prevention of obesity in adults may be achieved by community-based education programmes linked with financial incentives. Interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour can reduce overweight in children. Behavioural, diet, exercise and drug treatments have all been shown to be effective, to some extent, in treating obesity in adults, particularly when two or more approaches are used in combination. Most people begin to regain weight a few months after treatment. Longer term follow-up and use of maintenance interventions is necessary to sustain weight loss. Surgery is the most effective and possibly cost-effective approach for reducing weight in people with severe obesity.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1997
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Appetite Depressants
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Gastric Bypass
  • Gastroplasty
  • Health Education
  • Weight Loss
  • Obesity
Organisation Name: University of York
Contact Address: University of York, York, Y01 5DD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1904 321040, Fax: +44 1904 321041,
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.