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About the Program

Obesity is a complex, chronic, treatable disease. For many patients, a multidisciplinary treatment approach consisting of surgery, medical and lifestyle interventions helps achieve a healthier, happier life. At the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center, we offer the latest treatments and comprehensive, coordinated care for all patients seeking support with weight management.

Lifestyle Programs

Lifestyle programs at the Mass General Weight Center are designed to address the knowledge, skills, attitudes and thoughts that drive behaviors related to eating and activity. Led by our registered dietitians and psychologists, they are focused on lifestyle interventions designed to address the knowledge, skills, attitudes and thoughts that drive behaviors related to eating and activity. Weight management is only one of the important goals for these programs, with healthier eating and activity remaining at the forefront of these interventions.

The multidisciplinary Weight Center team members can help address your expectations about the rate, amount and overall importance of weight loss and management from the outset. We will help you make a personal commitment to behavior change and assist you as you learn more about positive behavioral changes regarding eating and activity.

If necessary, your Mass General Weight Center physician may also prescribe a weight loss medication as you complete your lifestyle program. As with all prescribed and customized programs, indications for weight loss medications are determined by your Mass General Weight Center physician in consultation with you and the rest of your Weight Center care team.

Nutrition-focused Lifestyle Programs

Choose from one of the options below to learn more about lifestyle programs offered by the Mass General Weight Center registered dietitians:

Obesity Medications Pathway

The Obesity Medications Pathway at the Mass General Weight Center combines lifestyle changes with the use of medications to promote healthy eating and weight loss, and to lessen the effects diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other conditions caused by obesity. It is a comprehensive program that combines lifestyle changes with the use of medication to promote weight loss and lessen the effects of conditions caused by obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease and sleep apnea. Patients may see an improvement in the symptoms of these conditions, as well as a decrease in the medications they need to control them.

A Collaborative Approach to Weight Management

The Mass General Weight Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to help patients achieve and maintain a healthier weight. After attending new patient orientation, you will receive a full evaluation and meet with an obesity medicine specialist (a physician who has specific training in the treatment of obesity), and a dietitian and a psychologist who specialize in obesity. This assessment will help your care team develop a personalized plan to help you reach your goals.

Your care team may recommend weight loss medication as part of your treatment plan in addition to behavioral or surgical treatment options. If so, obesity medicine specialists will review your medical history and prescribe medications in collaboration with the rest of your care team, including your primary care physician, to promote a healthier weight.

Our specialists select the best medication or combination of medications for you based on your health conditions and health history. Weight loss medications work differently for every person and may reduce your appetite, increase fullness and/or improve your metabolism. Your care team will closely monitor your progress and make any necessary medication adjustments to achieve the best outcomes.

What to Expect

The Obesity Medication Pathway is a one-year program, which begins with a simple breathing test to assess your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories). You will then have up to four meetings with a dietitian, during which an individualized dietary plan will be formulated. At these visits you will:

  • Learn about mindful eating and important lifestyle changes
  • Have your weight checked

Once your diet is stable, you will meet with an obesity medicine specialist to start weight loss medications. Your specialist will closely monitor your treatment plan during visits every one-to-three months, depending on your progress. At these visits you will:

  • Have your weight checked
  • Discuss your progress and weight loss
  • Have your medication adjusted or changed as needed

You will also continue to meet with your dietitian every three months to assess your food plan. At the end of the program, you will meet with your obesity medicine specialist to determine the best course of action to maintain your weight loss.

Pediatric Weight Management Program

The Weight Management programs at the Mass General for Children Weight Center provide comprehensive evaluation and care for children and teens who are overweight or obese. The pediatric program is affiliated with the adult programs at the Mass General Weight Center, to allow for family-based care and continuity of care into adult life.

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