VA Obesity Initiative Update 03: Just Released | New Overweight/Obesity Guidelines

VA Obesity Initiative Update 03: Just Released | New Overweight/Obesity Guidelines

Forty-one percent of Veterans receiving care from VA have obesity. There’s a brand new eight-page booklet right here that can help bring that number down. The Management of Adult Overweight and Obesity booklet at   provides clear and comprehensive evidence-based recommendations. The updated guidelines booklet describe the critical decision points. It provides clear and comprehensive evidence-based recommendations to inform weight management practices throughout the DoD and VA Health Care systems.

This is not about trying to fit into your old uniform. This is about your health. There are important health benefits that result from weight loss. These include improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol,

the risk of developing diabetes and other chronic conditions, and even overall quality of life.   The new guidelines answer your questions.

  • What is consider overweight?
  • What is obesity? (Having a weight that is higher than what is considered healthy for a given height is described as overweight or obesity.)
  • What should you ask your health care team?
  • What is Body Mass Index? (There’s a great chart in the guidelines.)
  • What should be my weight loss goal? (For many people with overweight or obesity, an initial goal is to lose just 5% of their body weight.)
  • What is a Comprehensive Lifestyle Intervention? (Comprehensive lifestyle interventions are programs that combine changes to habits and behaviors as well as dietary intake, and physical activity, with support from a health coach or other member of a health care team.) Overweight and obesity are terms that describe different degrees of carrying extra fatty tissue – or body fat – above an ideal weight. Healthy eating is an important part of weight loss. Weight loss is achieved when you take in less energy (fewer calories) than your body needs to maintain your current weight, especially if you also increase your level of regular physical activity. A comprehensive lifestyle intervention (such as VA’s MOVE! Weight Management Program) is an essential aspect of any effective overweight or obesity treatment program. These programs help you to identify and make lasting changes in diet, physical 23 activity and other behaviors, like regular weighing, to help you stay on track. VA’s MOVE! program can help you reach a healthy weight.

The guidelines also emphasize the value of specific medications, as well as surgical procedures for treating overweight and obesity, though these treatments should always be combined with a comprehensive lifestyle intervention. Remember when you pushed back from the table and said, “Well, next year I’m going to get in shape?” Well, this is next year. If you need some inspiration, check out these success stories from Veterans who achieved significant weight loss after participating in the MOVE! program. Some are amazing and inspiring.

[Source: Vantage Point | Hans Petersen | January 8, 2021 ++]