U.S. veterans to be screened for obesity

Dec. 25, 2011 at 11:54 PM
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- The Veterans Health Administration issued a policy directing a weight-management program to help reduce obesity rates among veterans, officials say.

The National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, part of the VHA, developed MOVE! weight-management program from guidelines from the National Institutes of Health and Research.

Bryan J. Weiner of the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said MOVE! is a weight-management program that calls for patients seen in VHA medical facilities to be systematically screened for obesity. It offers evidence-based tiered treatment options tailored to their needs and preferences.

"In order of increasing intensity, treatment options include self-management support, individual counseling or group sessions, clinically supervised weight-management medications, and, in some facilities, brief residential treatment or bariatric surgery," Weiner said in a statement. "Delivered by a multidisciplinary team encompassing primary care, dietetics, behavioral health and physical activity, MOVE! is a comprehensive approach to weight loss and maintenance that promotes behavior change, healthy nutrition, physical activity and psychological well being."

Currently, 35 percent of VHA primary care enrollees are estimated to be obese and, therefore, at higher risk for chronic diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke and osteoarthritis, Weiner said.

The findings are scheduled to be published in the January issue Preventing Chronic Diseases.

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