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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Implementing a Weight Management Program for Outpatients

by Christopher N. Ochner, PhD 7 CE Credits

Obesity is a nationwide epidemic, ranking second among causes of preventable death in the United States after tobacco use. The recent dramatic increase in obesity implies that individuals may not be able to simply ‘will’ the weight away. This course provides health professionals with a firm knowledge base in the area of weight management and introduces weight management programs for use with outpatients. Specifically, the physiology behind body weight regulation are presented and the cutoffs for determining “overweight”, “obese” and “morbidly obese” categories along with their corresponding health implications are outlined. Empirically-based diets, including ‘fad’ diets, are reviewed and the appropriateness of alternative therapies, such as bariatric surgery, addressed. Detailed strategies for implementing a weight management program with patients and for maintaining weight loss over time are discussed.

Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 7 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
Course Sections/Outline:
  • Introduction
  • Classification System to Determine Excess Body Weight
  • General Factors Contributing to Eating Behavior
  • Physiology of Energy Balance: Intake vs. Expenditure
  • Medical Complications Associated with Excess Body Weight
  • Obesity: The Psychosocial Perspective
  • Implementation of a Weight Management Program: The Lifestyle Change Approach
  • Assessing the Patient’s Motivational Readiness, Attitudes about Change, and Program Expectations
  • Choosing and Implementing a Plan
  • Strategies to Optimize Adherence and Success
  • Weight Loss Maintenance
  • Summary
  • Glossary
  • Recommended Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify the metabolic process associated with body weight regulation and ten common physiological  (e.g., genetics) and psychological (e.g., modeling) risk factors associated with excess body weight.
  • Describe 4 relevant psychosocial variables among overweight individuals, including the role of negative affect, body image disturbance,  social isolation/functionality, and stigmatization.
  • Clinically assess for motivational readiness, attitudes about change and accuracy of program expectations, along with the ability to dispel 5 common myths that serve as barriers to success.
  • Design and implement a clinically tailored weight management program using the “lifestyle change approach” targeting 3 primary areas of behavior change — personal food environment, reduction in caloric intake, and increases in physical activity.
  • Incorporate 13 evidence-based strategies that promote weight loss, prevent weight gain, and enhance weight loss and behavior maintenance into treatment planning.