Chile launches evidence-based approach to obesity care rooted in Canada’s watershed 2020 clinical practice guidelines                

EDMONTON, November 11, 2022 – Canada’s leadership in obesity care and related research is on display in Latin America today, as several healthcare associations in Chile release adult obesity treatment guidelines (CPGs) built upon CPGs published in 2020 by Obesity Canada and the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons. 

A summary of Chile’s guidelines were published today in the clinical journal Medwave, and 18 additional in-depth chapters were simultaneously released on the consortium’s website. The consortium – Coalición Chilena para el Estudio de la Obesidad (Chilean Coalition for the Study of Obesity) – is comprised of representatives from Sociedad de Neurología, Psiquiatría y Neurocirugía (Society of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery), Sociedad Chilena de Medicina Familiar (Chilean Society of Family Medicine), Sociedad Chilena de Cirugía Bariátrica y Metabólica (Chilean Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery), Sociedad Chilena de Nutrición (Chilean Nutrition Society), Sociedad Chilena de Medicina del Sueño (Chilean Sleep Medicine Society), ACHINUMET (Chilean association of clinical nutrition, obesity and metabolism), and Sociedad Chilena de Obstericia y Ginecología (Chilean Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology). 

The CPGs outline the evidence supporting medical nutrition therapy, behavioural and mental health supports, physical activity, medications, and surgery as potential treatments, alone or in combination, in adult obesity care. 

“Like Canada’s original CPGs, Chile’s are evidence-based and patient-centred, placing an emphasis on improving overall health and quality of life, and avoiding Body Mass Index or a number on a scale as sole measurements of health status,” says Dr. Yudith Preiss, Centro de Nutrición y Cirugía Bariátrica at Clínica Las Condes and Chilean Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery member. “Using the Canadian knowledge base as a starting point, we were able to streamline our process and in only a year assess Chilean-specific evidence to develop clinical recommendations for the Chilean population.” 

The Chilean CPGs are the result of a pilot project launched in 2021 to assess the feasibility of adapting the Canadian adult obesity CPGs in two countries. After an open call for applications, Chile and Ireland were selected as the pilot sites. Ireland released their guidelines in October 2022. Each country used an adaptation approach based on the GRADE methodology, a systematic process for assessing peer-reviewed scientific evidence, which was used to develop the original Canadian guidelines. 

“The pilot project demonstrated that the Canadian guidelines can indeed be adapted for use in other countries with different healthcare systems, languages, and cultural contexts,” says Dr. Mary Forhan, Obesity Canada’s Scientific Director and Chair/Graduate Chair, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto. “For Chile and Ireland, the adaptation process took less time to develop compared to creating a guideline from the ground up, and it reduced overall development costs. For Canada, this project has allowed scientists and healthcare professionals to learn more about obesity care and how we can continue to update the guidelines through future collaborative research activities.”


More information or to arrange interviews: 

In Canada: Nicole Pearce, Obesity Canada, / +1-780-492-8361

In Chile: Moira Fernanda Hernández Jiménez,, +56 9 88681719

About Obesity Canada

Obesity Canada-Obésité Canada is Canada’s authoritative voice on evidence-based approaches for obesity prevention, treatment, and policy. Our mission is to improve the lives of Canadians affected by obesity through the advancement of anti-discrimination, prevention, and treatment efforts.