The American Dietetic Association has released an updated position statement on weight management calling for people to make a "lifelong commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviors" that includes the prevention of weight gain.
The statement also urges ADA members – primarily registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, registered – to take an active role in addressing the country's obesity epidemic through partnerships among health professionals, government, schools and other organizations.
ADA's statement, which has been endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine, is published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and represents ADA's official position on weight management: It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that successful weight management to improve overall health for adults requires a lifelong commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviors emphasizing sustainable and enjoyable eating practices and daily physical activity.
While the wording of this statement is identical to ADA's last weight management position issued in 2002, it is accompanied by a new 17-page evidence-based review of the latest research and interventions. That includes updated information on weight-loss surgery and weight-loss medications and other dietary and behavioral interventions. The evidence-based approach uses ADA's evidence analysis process and information developed for ADA's Evidence Analysis Library, providing important added benefits to support its conclusions.
"The major advantage of the approach is the more rigorous standardization of review criteria, which minimizes the likelihood of reviewer bias and increases the ease with which disparate articles may be compared," according to the position's authors.
"The evidence supporting ADA's position is clear: Excess weight and obesity affect the health and quality of life in all segments of the population, increasing health-care costs and putting significant burdens on our society," said registered dietitian and ADA Spokesperson Elisa Zied. "This new position provides guidance to ADA members who are uniquely qualified to improve the health of the public through effective weight management interventions and strategic partnerships."
Highlights of ADA's 2009 weight management position statement include:
- The importance of weight gain prevention and the challenge of weight loss maintenance in addition to the necessary continued attention on the implementation of effective weight loss interventions.
- The value of the unique contribution ADA members can make through collaborations with other health-care providers, government agencies, scientific organizations, schools, and community organizations to create social and environmental solutions to the epidemic of overweight and obesity.
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