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Can morbid obesity be treated through diet alone?

Treating morbid obesity through diet alone is not recommended. A healthy and safe calorie-restricted diet along with exercise is the first step. For some, excess weight causes increased stress on bones, muscles and joints, making exercise difficult, so check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Your doctor will also help you to set goals and may suggest medications or bariatric surgery to help you reach those goals. For many, seeking help through a support group is also beneficial.

There are two treatment methods for morbid obesity—medical and surgical. Medical management involves tactics such as a very low calorie diet, exercise, anti-obesity medications (appetite suppressants, fat absorption blockers, etc.) and behavior modification. These are all overseen by a doctor or a medical professional, but do not have a very high long-term success rate.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.