Vol 24, No 3 (2020)
Guidelines / Expert consensus
Published online: 2020-09-29

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Treatment of overweight and obesity during and after a pandemic. Let’s not wait for the development of complications — new guidelines for doctors

Magdalena Olszanecka-Glinianowicz1, Dominika Dudek2, Krzysztof J. Filipiak3, Marek Krzystanek4, Leszek Markuszewski5, Marek Ruchała6, Elżbieta Tomiak7
Arterial Hypertension 2020;24(3):93-105.


Guidelines developed by Experts endorsed by the Polish Association for the Study of Obesity, Polish Psychiatric Association, Polish Society of Hypertension, Scientific Section of Telepsychiatry of the Polish Psychiatric Association, Polish Association of Cardiodiabetology, Polish Association of Endocrinology, and The College of Family Physicians in Poland

Social patronage of the Foundation for People with Obesity OD-WAGA   

The treatment of obesity in the pandemic era has become more important than ever. The current situation is conducive to the worsening of disease and the development of new diseases, mainly as a result of compensating negative emotions with food. Taking into account the data on the impact of obesity and its complications on the severity of the course and the risk of death due to COVID-19, we recommend using the 2016 American Endocrine Society’s criteria for the diagnosis of obesity instead of the 1998 WHO criteria. We also recommend diagnosing eating under the influence of emotions and the occurrence of eating disturbances, such as compulsive eating syndrome, night eating syndrome and food addiction, and complications of obesity, in any person with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. The approach to treatment should be individualised and should not be limited to nutritional and physical activity education alone. Each patient should be offered appropriately selected pharmacotherapy, and, if necessary, also psychotherapy. The first-line drug should be a combined preparation containing naltrexone and bupropion (Mysimba®). Liraglutide in a dose of 3 mg (Saxenda®) should be considered as a second-line drug in a situation where eating under the influence of emotions is excluded (reaching for food in situations of experiencing negative and positive emotions and boredom, eating disturbances: compulsive eating syndrome, night eating syndrome, and food addiction) and depressed mood or there are permanent contraindications to the use of the first-line drug. It is unethical not to treat obesity or refer the patient to another doctor for treatment. The use of telemedicine tools can facilitate work in therapeutic teams (doctor, dietitian, psychotherapist), as well as improve patient compliance with pharmacotherapy and changes in eating habits and the level of physical activity recommendations.

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