Proposal to Improve the ICD-11 Diagnostic Criteria for Obesity

Obesity Facts 10 Years

A Proposal of the European Association for the Study of Obesity to Improve the ICD-11 Diagnostic Criteria for Obesity Based on the Three Dimensions Etiology, Degree of Adiposity and Health Risk.


Diagnostic criteria for complex medical conditions caused by a multitude of both genetic and environmental factors should be descriptive and avoid any attribution of causality. Further- more, the wording used to describe a disorder should be evidence-based and avoid stigma- tization of the affected individuals. Both terminology and categorizations should be readily comprehensible for healthcare professionals and guide clinical decision making. Uncertainties with respect to diagnostic issues and their implications may be addressed to direct future clinical research. In this context, the European Association of the Study of Obesity (EASO) con- siders it an important endeavor to review the current ICD-11 Beta Draft for the definition of overweight and obesity and to propose a substantial revision. We aim to provide an overview of the key issues that we deem relevant for the discussion of the diagnostic criteria. We first discuss the current ICD-10 criteria and those proposed in the ICD 11 Beta Draft. We conclude with our own proposal for diagnostic criteria, which we believe will improve the assessment of patients with obesity in a clinically meaningful way.

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