Understanding patient options for overweight and obesity

Course description
Target Audience:

Pharmacists in community-based practice.

Universal program number: 0401-0000-13-009-H01-P
Activity type: Knowledge-based


To improve the pharmacist’s knowledge of overweight and obesity and recommend appropriate approaches to managing these conditions.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, “overweight” and “obesity” are terms that describe weight ranges that are in excess of what is generally considered healthy for people of a specific height.1 Excessive weight has been shown to have far-reaching effects on many aspects of health, and in June 2013, the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease. A number of medical conditions are known to be associated with obesity. Obese individuals have a greatly increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, sleep apnea and shortness of breath. They have moderately increased risk of coronary heart disease, or CHD; hypertension; osteoarthritis in the knees; hyperuricemia and gout. They also have a slightly increased risk of some cancers (e.g., breast cancer in postmenopausal women, endometrial cancer and colon cancer); abnormalities of reproductive hormones; polycystic ovary syndrome; impaired fertility; obesity-related low back pain; anesthesia complications; and having a child with fetal defects.2 Obese children are more likely to have hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, which is associated with an increased future risk of cardiovascular disease, or CVD; an increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes; sleep apnea and asthma; joint problems; steatosis, cholelithiasis and gastroesophageal reflux; and an increased risk of social and psychological problems. In addition, obese children are more likely to become obese adults, and their obesity may be more severe.3

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this program, the pharmacist should be able to:

  1. Explain trends in prevalence of overweight and obesity.
  2. Explain screening guidelines for overweight or obese patients.
  3. Categorize a patient’s excess weight based on body mass index.
  4. Discuss the negative consequences of excessive weight with overweight or obese patients.
  5. Counsel patients to help them achieve weight-related health goals.
To obtain credit:

A minimum test score of 70% is needed to obtain credit. Submit your answers to the learning assessment questions online at Your statement of credit will be available through CPE Monitor located at To ensure transmission of credit hours to CPE Monitor, you must enter your correct e-PID number in your CE profile.

All customer service questions should be directed to (800) 933-9666.

If you are a paid enrollee, there is no cost to participate in this lesson. The fee for participants who are not enrolled is $13.95.


Drug Store News is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This CPE Activity is approved for pharmacists and is worth 2.0 contact hours (0.2 CEUs). The activity is available for CE credit through July 24, 2016.

Faculty & disclosure

By Wendy L. Wright, MS, RN, ARNP, FNP, FAANP, owner of Wright & Associates Family Healthcare and partner in Partners in Healthcare Education, a medical education company

Wendy L. Wright is a member of the speaker bureau at Vivus. This article has been peer-reviewed for absence of commercial bias. The DSN editorial and continuing education staff do not have any actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to this lesson.

Course summary
Credit hours: 
  • 2.00 Pharmacist
Course format: 
Written Lesson
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

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