HEALTH: Obesity treatments failing

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The Independent Online
Fat people who are trying to lose weight get little help from doctors and nurses because they find obesity too frustrating a condition to treat, according to a report.

Getting rid of excess flab is a laborious task and most people begin to regain it a few months after losing it. The goal is so elusive that health professionals tend to ignore the problem, despite the fact that obesity is a central health issue, the report from the University of York says.

The review of treatments for obesity, published as an Effective Healthcare Bulletin by the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, which is funded by the Department of Health, says the only effective way to lose weight is to combine dieting with exercise and measures to reduce temptation, such as storing food out of sight.

Appetite suppressants can lead to large weight loss but the benefits tend to plateau after six months and there is a tendency to regain weight after that.