KE Journal

Understanding Obesity

New Guidelines for Physicians
Obesity Algorithm™, Presented by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians®

Last fall, the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) rolled out the first-ever comprehensive Obesity Algorithm™ charts, or step-by-step calculation procedures, that navigate the physician’s role in medically treating and caring for patients affected by obesity.

The Obesity Algorithm charts — developed and written by a group of leading obesity medicine specialists — offer all physicians an overview of principles that are necessary to consider when evaluating patients and implementing treatment plans for patients affected by obesity.

We caught up with Dr. Eric C. Westman, President of ASBP, at the society’s biannual meeting in Philadelphia in mid-March. Dr. Westman, who is also Director of the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic and Chair of the KE Diet® Scientific Advisory Board, had this to say:

“Following the American Medical Association’s decision last June to declare obesity a chronic disease state, more patients are seeking treatment options from their primary care providers. However, research indicates that primary care physicians want and need more help in discussing obesity with their patients. The Obesity Algorithm is designed to provide this much-needed insight.”


Within the algorithm are options for nutrition strategies, exercise prescription, behavior change, weight-loss medications, and discussion of surgical options. In addition to weight loss, the algorithm places a strong emphasis on optimizing health, decreasing disease risk and improving overall quality of life.

The algorithm emphasizes patients’ overall health and reduction in risk of developing associated conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease.

Changes will only be recommended following an examination of the patient’s current lifestyle, family history, physical exam and laboratory testing. The algorithm will aid physicians in determining whether these results warrant a need for intervening obesity treatment and what that care would look like.

Dr. Spencer Berry

Dr. Spencer Berry


“I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the
KE Diet added to the Obesity Algorithm someday,” said Dr. Spencer Berry, a member of the ASBP and a KE Diet Licensee Physician in Fargo, ND. “I have found it to be a safe, effective, non-surgical treatment for weight loss…one that can serve as a ‘nutritional bridge’ to a happier, healthier life.”

About the ASBP

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians ( is the leading association for clinical physicians and other providers dedicated to the comprehensive medical treatment of patients affected by obesity and associated conditions. Many ASBP member physicians also hold certification from the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

The ASBP Obesity Algorithm is available as a free download from and a video podcast about how physicians can use it is available from that page.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 36 percent of U.S. adults and 17 percent of youth are affected by obesity. Obesity increases the risk of having heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, the leading causes of preventable death in the United States.

Featured Image Courtesy of Fargo Medical Weight Loss