Web Content Viewer (JSR 286) - Healthy Weight


Doctor smilingThe use of prescription weight loss medications, in addition to lifestyle approaches, has been found to increase weight reduction in adults who are overweight or obese. Surgery may be an option for people who have failed to achieve weight loss by other means. However, neither option is a stand-alone treatment – you must still be prepared to make improvements to your eating and physical activity.  

Making changes to what you eat and drink, and to how active you are, should be an important part of managing your weight in the long run.

Prescription weight loss medications

Weight loss medications prescribed by a doctor may be helpful to some people, but are generally only suitable for people with a BMI over 30. The Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved some of these, but as none are available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme they may be expensive.

None of the approved weight loss medications are suitable for long-term use and they can have some serious side effects, including gastrointestinal issues. They also do not help you to develop healthy eating habits.

If you are thinking about using a prescription medication to help you lose weight, talk to a health professional and ask them:

  • How effective the nedication might be in the short term
  • How effective it might be in the long term
  • What side effects, or potential health risks, it may have.


Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a reasonably new approach to weight loss for people who are obese and have tried every other means of losing weight.

Different types of operations exist, but the aim in all of them is to reduce the amount of food the stomach can hold, so limiting the amount of food you can eat at one time.

Weight loss surgery can produce significant weight loss, but like all surgery, it has risks.

It is recommended that weight loss surgery be considered only by people who are obese, with a BMI over 40, or a BMI over 35 with other health conditions that may improve with weight loss.

If you are thinking about weight loss surgery, talk to your health professional.


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