Although all obese patients should be encouraged to pursue some form of exercise, some patients are more likely to be successful than others. Buskirk identified features that can help identify an obese patient who is likely to benefit most from an exercise program.

More Likely to Benefit

Less Likely to Benefit

mild to moderate obesity

morbidly obese

onset of obesity as an adult

lifelong obesity

first attempt at weight loss

numerous unsuccessful attempts at weight loss

sincerely desires to lose weight

indifferent to or opposes weight loss

psychologically well-adjusted to meet weight loss goals

psychological barriers that prevent reaching goals

able to understand and follow instructions

unable to follow directions

no comorbid conditions or disability

comorbid condition or disability


Additional factors may include:


More Likely to Benefit

Less Likely to Benefit

enjoys exercise

negative attitude towards exercise

positive support and encouragement

opposition or resistance by others

persistent and willing to stick it out

easily frustrated


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