Box 10 Assess Reasons for Failure to Lose Weight

If a patient fails to achieve the recommended 10 percent reduction in body weight in 6 months or 1 year, a reevaluation is required. A critical question is whether the level of motivation is high enough to continue clinical therapy. If motivation is high, revise the goals and strategies (see Box 8). If motivation is not high, clinical therapy should be discontinued, but the patient should be encouraged to embark on efforts to lose weight or to at least avoid further weight gain. Even if weight loss therapy is stopped, risk factor management must be continued.

Failure to achieve weight loss should prompt the practitioner to investigate energy intake (dietary recall including alcohol intake, daily intake logs), energy expenditure (physical activity diary), attendance at behavior therapy group meetings, recent negative life events, family and societal pressures, or evidence of detrimental psychiatric problems (depression, binge eating disorder). If attempts to lose weight have failed, and the BMI is > 40, surgical therapy should be considered.

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