Research Chair on Obesity Centre de recherche Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie du QuébecUniversité Laval
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Treatment of obesity

Weight Management

A realistic weight loss objective of 5-10% is recommended to benefit health. Weight loss beyond 12% activates the biological processes of energy conservation that make the organism resist to subsequent weight loss.

The first step to achieve your objective is to talk to your family physician to find the best strategy for getting it right. Your physician will be able to make a comprehensive evaluation of your health and discuss the options with you.

Behavioural Therapy

Behavioural therapy aims to reduce energy intake, using food restriction, and to increase energy expenditure by physical activity. This is the first line strategy for every overweight person wishing to loose weight. The process of changing lifestyles and habits is more successful when social and psychological support is available throughout the whole weight loss period.

To make it and to get good support, it is advised to contact a health professional such as a nutritionist and a kinesiologist or a support group. To know more


The pharmacotherapy strategy is a complement to the behavioural strategy aiming at changing a person’s lifestyle. It targets only obese patients, specifically those with comorbidities.

Currently, three types of medication directly aimed at weight loss are available on the market: Orlistat (Xenical), Sibutramine (Meridia, Reductil), and Rimonabant (Acomplia)

There are also anorectic compounds such as phentermine, a drug administered on a short-term basis, which mimics the stimulating effects of the sympathetic nervous system.

All these medications have side effects and their long-term effectiveness is moderate.

To know more

Bariatric Surgery

Surgery is exclusively for persons affected by extreme obesity and for whom behavioural strategies and pharmacotherapy did not produce the required weight loss. The various surgical techniques are described in our dedicated section. Surgery is the most efficacious method: it allows patients to loose half of their weight in the following year. To know more


Surgeon General's Healthy Weight Advice for Consumers (Surgeon General)
Information about Losing Weight and Maintaining a Healthy Weight (FDA)
Prevention of obesity in adults (1994) PDF doc (Health Canada)
Weight Control and Heart Disease (Healthy Heart Kit) (Health Canada)
How to control your weight and reduce your risk of heart disease
Weight Management (Mayo Clinic)
Treatments (Obesity Online)
Weight Loss for Life (Order: (800) 946-8098)
ABC's reports The Healthy Heart Kit

Weight Loss Programs

American Heart Association Guidelines for Selecting a Weight Loss & Maintenance Program (AHA)
Commercial Weight Reduction Programs:AHA Recommendation
Commercial Weight-Loss Promotions
Commercial Weight Reduction Programs (AHA)
Choosing a Safe and Successful Weight-Loss Program (WIN)
Weight Loss: Finding a Weight Loss Program That Works for You (PDF version)
Government to Test Weight-loss Plans (CSPI)
Lifestyle Prescription for Health (The Linus Pauling Institute)

Practical Tips and Tools

Setting Goals for Weight Loss
Taking Action (Shape Up America)
Step by step information about safe weight management and physical fitness
Weight loss calculator
Calculate Calories to loose weight over time by exercise and diet
25 ways to Think Thin (ADA)
At A Glance 2004 — Physical Activity and Good Nutrition: Essential Elements to Prevent Chronic Diseases and Obesity (PDF-220K) CDC

Weight Control

Weight Control and Obesity Resources
Harvard Medical School Consumer Health Information
Search healthfinder® for information on weight control


The problem of overweight in children and adolescents (Surgeon General)
Obesity and Overweight in Children
Helping Your Overweight Child (WIN)
Helping Your Child Lose Weight (AAFP)
Helping Your Child Keep a Healthy Weight (AAFP)
Trim Kids
Childhood obesity: Parenting advice
Parents Guide (Shape-Up)
ABC's reports
Your Child's Weight (CNRC)
Help your Child with Successful Weight Management
More about children

Other brochures on weight control from WIN

Weight Control Information Network
Understanding Adult Obesity
Statistics Related to Overweight and Obesity
Weight Cycling

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