Weight Management

Weight Management

Weight management refers to a set of practices and behaviors that are necessary to keep one’s weight at a healthful level. It is preferred to the term “dieting,” because it involves more than regulation of food intake or treatment of overweight people. People diagnosed with eating disorders who are not obese or overweight still need to practice weight management. Some health care professionals use the term “nutritional disorders” to cover all disorders related to weight. The term “weight management” also reflects a change in thinking about treatment of obesity and overweight during the past 20 years. Before 1980, treatment of overweight people focused on weight loss, with the goal of helping the patient reach an “ideal weight” as defined by standard life insurance height-weight charts. In recent years, however, researchers have discovered that most of the negative health consequences of obesity are improved or controlled by a relatively modest weight loss, perhaps as little as 10% of the patient’s body weight. It is not necessary for the person to reach the “ideal” weight to benefit from weight management. Some nutritionists refer to this treatment goal as the “10% solution.” Secondly, the fact that most obese people who lose large amounts of weight from reduced-calorie diets regain it within five years has led nutrition experts to emphasize weight management rather than weight loss as an appropriate outcome of treatment.

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