University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


An Evidence-based Guide for Obesity Treatment in Primary Care

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior Therapy; Counseling; Evidence-Based Medicine; Goals; Humans; Obesity; Patient Care Team; Primary Health Care; Referral and Consultation


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Preventive Medicine | Primary Care


On behalf of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, we present a model of obesity management in primary care based on the 5As counseling framework (Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, and Arrange). Primary care physicians can use the 5As framework to build and coordinate a multidisciplinary team that: 1) addresses patients' psychosocial issues and medical and psychiatric comorbidities associated with obesity treatment failure; 2) delivers intensive counseling that consists of goal setting, self-monitoring, and problem solving; and 3) connects patients with community resources to assist them in making healthy lifestyle changes. This paper outlines reimbursement guidelines and weight-management counseling strategies, and provides a framework for building a multidisciplinary team to maximize the patient's success at weight management.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Am J Med. 2016 Jan;129(1):115.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.07.015. Epub 2015 Jul 31. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed


5As Counseling framework, Comorbidities, Obesity, Primary care

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of medicine

PubMed ID