Background: Obesity is a chronic and heterogeneous medical condition. Weight loss is clearly the most desirable goal in obese subjects management. Successful obesity treatment should be defined as long-term weight loss maintenance. In this chapter, we briefly review the current evidences regarding the treatment of obesity. Methods: We searched MEDLINE and PubMed for original articles published between 1995 and 2006, focusing on obesity treatment. The search terms we used, alone or in combination, were 'obesity', 'lifestyle changes', 'diet', 'exercise', 'pharmacological treatment', 'surgical treatment'. Conclusions: The conventional management of obese patients involves weight reduction with lifestyle changes, including dietary therapy and increased physical activity, or a combined approach with lifestyle changes and pharmacological or surgical interventions. Exercise appears crucial in the successful maintenance of weight loss and in fostering cardiovascular health in obese patients. Some anti-obesity drugs, such as sibutramine and orlistat, have been shown to induce a significant weight loss and long-term weight loss maintenance. Surgical therapy is often necessary in morbidly obese patients and generally results in more significant and long-lasting weight loss than other treatments.
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