Guidance for the Treatment of Adult Obesity

Dear Colleague:

Obesity is a disease afflicting millions of Americans and causing a great deal of pain and suffering.

In our society, stereotyping of overweight and obese individuals is quite common. Despite evidence to the contrary, many people view obesity as a lack of willpower on the part of the individual. As a result, obese persons are frequently the object of prejudice and discrimination. They may be viewed as lazy and unlikable by their leaner counterparts--and very often by themselves as well.

As a physician, you are in a unique position to help reduce this distress. Some guiding principles you can use to foster a positive and supportive therapeutic relationship with your overweight and obese patients include:

Striving to forge a supportive therapeutic relationship with each of your overweight patients throughout the treatment process will help them feel they have been treated with dignity and respect. This is absolutely essential to the successful treatment of obesity and maintenance of weight loss.


C. Everett Koop, M.D.
Chairman and Founder
Shape Up America!