DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: The obesity treatment model and corresponding guidance were constructed by the following team of experts in the field of obesity:

Chair:  Patricia S. Choban, M.D.
Members: Roy C. Blank, M.D. John P. Foreyt, Ph.D. Frank L. Greenway, M.D. Sachiko T. St. Jeor, Ph.D., R.D. Louis F. Martin, M.D. G. Michael Steelman, M.D.
Ex-Officio Members:  Richard L. Atkinson, M.D. Barbara J. Moore, Ph.D. Judith S. Stern, Sc.D., R.D.
Writer, Editor, Project Manager:  Carol J. Morton, M.P.S.
Documentation Manager: Idamarie Laquatra, Ph.D., R.D.


The original model and guidance were based on an extensive review of the current literature (1966 - 1996 MedLine) on obesity and obesity treatment. Updates included additional literature reviews. The strength of the evidence in the references has been coded. The code appears in parentheses after each citation in the reference section of the document. The codes follow.

Evidence has been obtained from:

Ia. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Ib. Meta-analysis of controlled trials

Ic. Prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled (if appropriate), preferably blinded trials which included follow-up

Id. Prospective, nonrandomized, controlled studies with follow-up, or large retrospective studies

Ie. Prospective controlled studies (preferably blinded) with no follow up and/or high attrition rates (with analysis of dropouts)

IIa. Large prospective studies with a quasi-experimental design or descriptive in nature

IIb. Smaller, prospective studies with a quasi-experimental design, a case study or descriptive format

III. Abstracts or studies of short duration (two months or less) with no follow-up. Both double-blind placebo controlled and non-placebo controlled studies included

IVa. Comprehensive review

IVb. Limited review

V. Committee reports, consensus statements and opinions.

This guidance was sent to all members of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO). It was also sent to representatives of the professional organizations listed below for their critical review:

Endorsement by these organizations was not sought, nor is it implied by listing them above.

On October 5 and 6, 1996, a consensus conference was held in Washington, D.C. for any reviewers who might choose to attend. Based on written feedback and discussion at the conference, the document was revised by the committee.

In 1998 and 2001, revisions were made to the document to reflect current scientific evidence.