Sharon Barefoot

Faculty Advisor

Julie Deters

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: Obesity carries a high burden of morbidity and mortality. Obesity guidelines recommend behavioral therapy utilization as a component of weight loss management lifestyle interventions. However, the specific implementation of behavioral therapy for weight loss is lagging in the primary care setting. Purpose: To identify if behavioral counseling as a component of lifestyle interventions within primary care obesity management has the potential for inducing a weight loss of 3 kg (6.6 lbs) within 6 months as outlined for reimbursement by Medicare's Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) policy. Methods: A literature review from 2011 to the present was conducted and limited to scholarly and peer-reviewed articles which targeted aspects of behavioral therapy for obesity weight loss management; along with ethical, cultural and policy data related to obesity within the context of primary care. Results: One current guideline cited a high level of strong evidence to recommend behavioral therapy as a component of comprehensive lifestyle interventions for weight loss. Few trials have successfully assisted patients with obesity to lose >/= 3 kg of weight within six months. Successful trials achieved the latter through integration of 5As-based-IBT with specific patient goals comparable to those used in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Conclusion: There is a promise for further successful use of 5As-based-IBT if integrated with specific DPP-comparable lifestyle intervention goals to potentiate weight loss in the obese primary care population. Further similar trials are needed within primary care to validate these findings.