Guidelines on the management of adult obesity and overweight in primary care

National Obesity Forum


  • Obesity and overweight can be managed in primary care by a motivated, well-informed multidisciplinary team. The aim of treatment is to achieve and maintain weight loss by promoting sustainable changes in lifestyle

Patient selection

  • Most patients attending diabetic or cardiovascular clinics will automatically be candidates for weight management. Other patients may be picked up by practice audit, opportunistic screening or self-referral. Posters and leaflets should be available in the surgery and community for the education of patients

Treatment groups

  • Treatment or advice should be offered to:
    • patients with body mass index (BMI) >=30
    • patients with BMI >=28 with comorbidities, e.g. COPD, coronary heart disease and diabetes
    • patients with any degree of overweight coinciding with diabetes, other severe risk factors or serious disease
    • patients who self-refer, where appropriate
  • Parents of families with more than one obese or overweight member may need special consideration and more intensive support
  • Prevention advice should be offered to high-risk individuals e.g. those with a family history of obesity, smokers, people with learning disabilities, low income groups

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