Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)



First Advisor

Mindy Staveteig

Second Advisor

Daryl Sieg


Obesity is a rising epidemic, and is one of the most common, costly and preventable health problems the world is experiencing today (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, [CDC], 2017). From this, it is important to establish an effective treatment plan that can be implemented across the nation for maximum patient benefit. Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are important to any health care plan and are equally necessary to reduce health risks. However, in certain patients, lifestyle changes are not enough due to the maladaptive biologic process in their brain. From this, additional treatment options need to be available to these patients. This study was a systematic literature review which evaluated studies from CINAHL, Clinical Key, Cochrane Library, and PubMed to formulate a conclusion. Research focused on two pharmacotherapy options, phentermine and orlistat, in addition to two surgical options, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, for added weight loss treatment when compared to lifestyle alone. Both medical therapies, pharmacological and surgical, were found to be beneficial in augmenting lifestyle changes in multiple studies. Therefore, concluding that pharmacologic and surgical therapies are valid options in resistant obesity treatment in addition to lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.