Fighting the Obesity Epidemic: NPs Can Help Patients Maintain Weight Loss




Nurse practitioners have important roles in helping patients with obesity maintain weight loss, according to Sharon M. Fruh, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, the author of a recent narrative review.

For her review, Fruh searched PubMed through May 2016 without date limits, using search terms such as “obesity,” “overweight,” “weight loss,” and more.

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Results of the review indicated that more than one-third of US adults have obesity. Obesity is associated with various comorbidities and a shortened life expectancy of 5 to 10 years. Health outcomes can be significantly improved with modest weight loss of 5% to 10%, or more.

The researcher noted that many individuals in the United States struggle to maintain weight loss. However, strategies including establishing realistic weight-loss goals, motivating and supporting patients, and increased consultation frequency can significantly improve the success weight management.

“Many individuals struggle to maintain weight loss, although strategies such as realistic goal-setting and increased consultation frequency can greatly improve the success of weight-management programs,” Fruh concluded. “Nurse practitioners have key roles in establishing weight-loss targets, providing motivation and support, and implementing weight-loss programs.”

—Christina Vogt


Fruh SM. Obesity: risk factors, complications, and strategies for sustainable long-term weight management [Published online October 12, 2017]. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. doi:10.1002/2327-6924.12510.