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A proposed clinical staging system for obesity

Abstract

Current classifications of obesity based on body mass index, waist circumference and other anthropometric measures, although useful for population studies, have important limitations when applied to individuals in clinical practice. Thus, these measures do not provide information on presence or extent of comorbidities or functional limitations that would guide decision making in individuals. In this paper we review historical and current classification systems for obesity and propose a new simple clinical and functional staging system that allows clinicians to describe the morbidity and functional limitations associated with excess weight. It is anticipated that this system, when used together with the present anthropometric classification, will provide a simple framework to aid decision making in clinical practice.

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Acknowledgements

AMS is supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. He holds a University of Alberta/Capital Health Chair in Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

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Correspondence to A M Sharma.

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Sharma, A., Kushner, R. A proposed clinical staging system for obesity. Int J Obes 33, 289–295 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2009.2

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Keywords

  • body mass index
  • obesity staging
  • obesity diagnosis
  • obesity treatment

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