The most recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 90 million adults in the United States aged 20 years and older are diagnosed with obesity. Obesity is characterized by excess body fat and is diagnosed when an individual reaches a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above.

If left untreated, obesity can lead to serious health complications such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. The goal of obesity treatment is to help the individual reach and maintain a healthy weight and BMI. In this article, we will outline three ways to treat obesity and therefore reduce the risk of serious health complications associated with the condition.

A Weight Loss Program

Typically, the first step toward treating obesity is a weight loss program under the supervision of a healthcare professional. A weight loss program typically includes:

Exercise: Starting with light exercise, like walking for 10 minutes a day, is sufficient to help obese individuals kick-start their metabolism and spur weight loss. Exercise programs are modified as the patient is able to do more activities.

Diet modification: A key part of maintaining a healthy weight is eating a well-balanced diet that includes lots of vegetables and whole grains instead of refined grains.

Creating new habits: Integrating new habits, like setting realistic weight loss goals and journaling about reaching them, into your daily routine can have tremendous benefits for the weight loss journey. These types of habits can help individuals trying to lose weight remain focused and observe the results of their choices, which can help them achieve long-term results.

Prescription Medications: Certain prescription medications can help individuals lose weight by decreasing their appetite.

Klotho Protein Therapy

A potential new therapy using klotho protein could help individuals diagnosed with obesity to lose weight and restore their health. Furthermore, it is possible that klotho protein may also be used as a treatment to help prevent health complications associated with obesity, like heart attack and stroke, and reduce blood glucose levels to help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Klotho protein is a naturally occurring protein in the body that is a part of multiple functions in overall health. Scientists have discovered that klotho protein plays an important role in metabolism. One study shows that a form of klotho protein, called beta-Klotho, binds with and activates a hormone, called FGF21, that stimulates the metabolism of glucose and therefore triggers weight loss.1

Weight Loss Surgery

For some individuals, weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, may be an option for treating obesity. Weight loss surgery makes the stomach smaller in order to restrict the amount of food that an individual can consume. Some bariatric surgeries also re-route the path your food takes through the intestine so that your body absorbs fewer calories.

Individuals who are potential candidates for weight loss surgery are those who meet one or more of the following qualifications:

Are at least 16 years old

Have tried other methods of weight loss without success

Have been diagnosed with extreme obesity, or a BMI of 40 or more

Weigh more than 100 pounds over their recommended body weight 

Talk to Your Doctor About Obesity Treatment Options

If you are overweight, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and to start a treatment plan that can help you achieve a recommended weight. By identifying obesity early on and treating it appropriately, some individuals may be able to prevent or reverse obesity-related health complications.

  1. Lee S, Choi J, Mohanty J, Sousa L, Tome F, Pardon E, Steyaert J, Lemmon M, Lax I, Schlessinger J. Structures of β-klotho reveal a ‘zip code’-like mechanism for endocrine FGF signalling. Nature. Volume 553, pages 501–505 (25 January 2018).