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NICE’s new guideline on obesity

This important new guideline updates 2011 guidance and addresses three main areas: the role of bariatric surgery in the management of recent-onset type 2 diabetes; follow-up care packages after bariatric surgery; and very-low-calorie diets, including their effectiveness, as well as safety and management strategies for maintaining weight loss after such diets. This guidance has generated much interest, in particular through its focus on the role of bariatric surgery in the management of type 2 diabetes and in suggesting appropriate early referral.

by Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore


This new guideline defines obesity by BMI and outlines ethic differences in criteria. In addition, it notes that in the UK obesity rates nearly doubled between 1993 and 2011, and that obesity has an important link with type 2 diabetes and other conditions. Associated costs are rising.

The guidance assesses and updates advice on the management of obesity in adults and children. It suggests that people who have recent-onset type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or over are offered an expedited assessment for bariatric surgery.

The guidance goes on to propose an assessment for bariatric surgery for people with a BMI of 30–34.9 kg/m2 who have recent-onset type 2 diabetes, as long as they are also receiving, or will receive, assessment by a specialist or multidisciplinary (Tier 3) team. It is noted that an assessment for bariatric surgery for people of Asian family origin who have recent-onset type 2 diabetes should be considered at a lower BMI. The guidance also recommends that people have a 2-year follow up after such surgery.

To access the full publication, click here.

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