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BMI is a number calculated from a person's weight and height and is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool. This finding was consistent with a meta-analysis that evaluated primary care based interventions. The waist circumference at which there is an increased relative risk is noted below.

This high waist circumference is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in patients with a BMI in a range between 25 and Elements present in behavioral interventions often include a reduced calorie diet, increased physical activity and behavioral therapy.


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The USPSTF found that the most effective interventions were comprehensive and were of high intensity 12 to 26 sessions in the first year. The higher-intensity behavioral interventions included multiple behavioral management activities, such as group or individual sessions that focused on:. Interventions with more sessions showed more weight loss. In fact, after adjusting for number of sessions none of the other independent variables had a statistically significant relationship with weight loss including: physical activity sessions, group sessions, technology-based, etc.

This means that the number of sessions is critical to the success of the intervention. Behavioral interventions also showed a reduction in diabetes incidence, declines in glucose levels in pre-diabetic patients, reductions in diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and decrease in waist circumference.


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  • There were no direct harms concerns with behavioral interventions. However, some secondary harms considerations are labeling stigma, higher insurance premiums, or reinforcement of self-esteem. Pharmacological interventions used a combination of medication and behavioral intervention and saw slightly greater weight loss but exhibited more adverse effects such as gastrointestinal symptoms.

    However, there are concerns about the potential harms and there was a lack of evidence about maintaining improvement after discontinuation of medications. Women who breastfeed exclusively for 3 months or more tend to lose more weight than those who do not and breastfeeding for more than months may contribute to continued weight loss.

    Recent policy changes including the Affordable Care Act ACA Marketplace coverage of obesity screening and management and Medicare coverage obesity counseling visits may reduce concern about lack of reimbursement and time.

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    Additionally, the rise of new models of care delivery and reimbursement, such as patient-centered medical homes or accountable care organizations, may also facilitate referrals to ancillary providers like registered dietitians or multicomponent weight loss programs. All Marketplace plans and many other plans must cover obesity screening and counseling for all adults without charging a copayment or coinsurance.

    This is true even if the patient has not met their yearly deductible. This applies only when these services are delivered by a network provider.

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    ACA also covers diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease. Additionally, the ACA covers well-woman visits , which include a full checkup, separate from any other visit for sickness or injury.

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    These visits focus on preventive care for women and have three goals: 1. Documenting your health habits and history includes covering topic of eating habits and physical activity ; 2.