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New Report from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Details How to Increase Efficacy of Obesity Medications

June 20, 2024

CHICAGO —The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, today released its report on obesity medications which showed that lifestyle interventions delivered by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) helped users of obesity medication and those who stopped taking the medication experience better results.

The report, developed by 10 nutrition and weight management experts, examines how comprehensive, RDN-led interventions like medical nutrition therapy (MNT) can contribute to more successful use of obesity medications for adults, especially as part of interprofessional collaboration with obesity medication providers and health care practitioners.

“The report highlights the crucial role of registered dietitian nutritionists in delivering personalized and sustainable nutrition interventions for clients who are taking medications. These medications have undoubtedly made a significant impact on improving lives. However, the report emphasizes that without the guidance and support of RDNs and other health care providers, users may struggle to achieve long-term, sustainable results,” said Livleen Gill, MBA, RDN, LDN, FAND, President of the Academy. “RDNs’ expertise in tailoring nutrition treatments that complement medication therapies, ensuring that dietary choices support overall health goals and enhancing the effectiveness of medications, plays a pivotal role in helping clients maintain their health gains over the long term.”

RDNs are essential at every stage of obesity and weight management, the report says. They can educate clients on how new obesity medications work and assess clients’ eligibility by screening for an eating disorder or disordered eating and carefully analyzing client preferences and health history before a prescription begins. Once a client starts taking obesity medication, RDNs focus on client observations, such as energy level, and goal-setting; continue to monitor for health complications and body composition changes; and provide essential counseling to prevent and manage side effects and ensure proper nutrition despite changes in appetite. If a client needs to change obesity medications, RDNs are also prepared to help them make informed decisions and navigate the transition. 

As stated in the report, about 50% of clients stop taking obesity medications within a year, whether as a result of side effects, high costs, supply shortages or life changes. Nutrition care and healthy weight maintenance should not end with the prescription. RDNs provide recommendations that have longevity — they can show clients how to manage cravings, incorporate regular physical activity and understand healthy eating patterns, including balanced macronutrients and realistic meal routines. If a client stops taking obesity medication for any reason, they have the necessary nutrition knowledge, feasible health habits and ongoing support from their RDN to help them maintain their weight loss.

“RDNs are diverse in expertise, and many specialize in the different health conditions that may cause clients to seek new obesity medications and nutrition counseling,” said Caroline Susie, RDN, LD, co-author of the report and spokesperson for the Academy. “Whether a client is considering medication for diabetes management, weight loss or another condition, there are RDNs equipped and ready to work alongside other health care professionals and provide imperative nutrition care.”

To learn more or read the report, visit To find an RDN near you, visit the Academy’s Find a Nutrition Expert directory.


About the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at

Media Contact:
Meghan Tisinger

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