Why Screen for Obesity?
There is good evidence that body mass index is reliable and valid for identifying adults at increased risk for mortality and morbidity due to overweight and obesity. There is fair to good evidence that high-intensity counseling—about diet, exercise, or both—together with behavioral interventions aimed at skill development, motivation, and support strategies produces modest, sustained weight loss (typically 3 to 5 kg for 1 year or more) in adults who are obese. Although the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) did not find direct evidence that behavioral interventions lower mortality or morbidity from obesity, the USPSTF concluded that changes in intermediate outcomes, such as improved glucose metabolism, lipid levels, and blood pressure, from modest weight loss provide indirect evidence of health benefits.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, December 2003