In the past 30 years, the rate of obesity in Canada has tripled and now new treatment guidelines for the medical establishment have been released to help deal with the issue.


The new guideline, published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and in partnership with Obesity Canada, suggests doctors begin focusing on goals that patients consider to be important, rather than focusing on weight loss alone and moving away from the “diet and exercise” weight loss model to instead address the root causes of someone’s weight problems.

The new guidelines referred to as “medical nutrition therapy” suggest expanding the options of obesity treatment to include cognitive behavioural therapy(CBT), weight loss medication and bariatric surgery, depending on the each patient’s individual needs.

Among the key recommendations for physicians include asking permission to discuss a patient’s weight, understanding the root causes of their obesity, discussing treatment options, collaborating with the patient on long-term goals, and helping patients with barriers to accessing proper treatment.

The guidelines also highlight that there are instead several root factors for someone’s excessive weight, including genetics, sociocultural practises, adverse childhood experiences and mental health conditions, among others.

This is the first update to obesity treatment guidelines since 2006.

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