Comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for medical care of patients with obesity.
Objective: Development of these guidelines is mandated by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Board of Directors and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) Board of Trustees and adheres to published AACE protocols for the standardized production of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs).
Methods: Recommendations are based on diligent review of clinical evidence with transparent incorporation of subjective factors.
Results: There are 9 broad clinical questions with 123 recommendation numbers that include 160 specific statements (85 [53.1%] strong [Grade A]; 48 [30.0%] intermediate [Grade B], and 11 [6.9%] weak [Grade C], with 16 [10.0%] based on expert opinion [Grade D]) that build a comprehensive medical care plan for obesity. There were 133 (83.1%) statements based on strong (best evidence level [BEL] 1 = 79 [49.4%]) or intermediate (BEL 2 = 54 [33.7%]) levels of scientific substantiation. There were 34 (23.6%) evidence-based recommendation grades (Grades A-C = 144) that were adjusted based on subjective factors. Among the 1,790 reference citations used in this CPG, 524 (29.3%) were based on strong (evidence level [EL] 1), 605 (33.8%) were based on intermediate (EL 2), and 308 (17.2%) were based on weak (EL 3) scientific studies, with 353 (19.7%) based on reviews and opinions (EL 4).
Conclusion: The final recommendations recognize that obesity is a complex, adiposity-based chronic disease, where management targets both weight-related complications and adiposity to improve overall health and quality of life. The detailed evidence-based recommendations allow for nuanced clinical decision-making that addresses real-world medical care of patients with obesity, including screening, diagnosis, evaluation, selection of therapy, treatment goals, and individualization of care. The goal is to facilitate high-quality care of patients with obesity and provide a rational, scientific approach to management that optimizes health outcomes and safety