The Role of Behavioral Medicine in the Treatment of Obesity in Primary Care

Scott Kahan, Dawn K. Wilson, Allison M. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Behavioral medicine provides a framework for supporting patients to achieve changes in target health behaviors, such as dietary and physical activity changes. Behavioral medicine fits alongside traditional medical treatments, can minimize the need for more intensive medical treatments, improves outcomes of these treatments, and improves adherence to medication prescriptions or postsurgical recommendations. This article provides an overview of behavioral medicine counseling for obesity in primary care, rooted in the “5 As” approach to health behavior change, and the basic outline of behavioral skills interventions in which health care providers use self-regulatory and behavioral strategies to improve health-related behaviors among patients with obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Clinics of North America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Behavior change
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Counseling
  • Motivational interviewing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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