Methodology and Results of a Joint IFSO-WGO Delphi Survey of 94 Intercontinental, Interdisciplinary Experts in Obesity Management

Lilian Kow, Reem Z. Sharaiha, Mary O’Kane, Kevin P. White, Guilherme Macedo, Jim Toouli, Scott Shikora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Background: Obesity affects 1.5 billion people worldwide, yet few are treated effectively and considerable variability exists in its management. In 2020, a joint International Federation of Surgery for Obesity and Metabolic Diseases (IFSO) and World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) advisory committee initiated the drafting of consensus guidelines on obesity management, to be based on detailed literature reviews and the results of an extensive multi-disciplinary survey of intercontinental experts. This paper reports on the latter. The objective of this study is to identify areas of consensus and non-consensus among intercontinental, inter-disciplinary experts in obesity management. 

Methods: Guided by an international consensus-survey expert, a three-round online Delphi survey was conducted in the summer of 2021 of international obesity-management experts spanning the fields of medicine, bariatric endoscopy and surgery, psychology, and nutrition. Issues like epidemiology and risk factors, patient selection for metabolic and bariatric surgery (ASMBS-Clinical-Issues-Committee, Surg Obes Relat Dis : Off J Am Soc Bariatric Surg. 8:e27-32, 1), psychological issues, patient preparation for MBS, bariatric endoscopy, and outcomes and follow-up were addressed. 

Results: Ninety-four experts from six continents voted on 180 statements, with consensus reached on 158, including consensus agreement with 96 and disagreement with 24 statements (38 had other response options besides agree/disagree). Among unanimous opinions were the need for all medical societies to work together to address obesity, for regular regional and national obesity surveillance, for multi-disciplinary management, to recognize the increasing impact of childhood and adolescent obesity, to accept some weight regain as normal after MBS, and for life-long follow-up of MBS patients. 

Conclusions: Obesity is a major health issue that requires aggressive surveillance and thoughtful multidisciplinary management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3337–3352
Number of pages16
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number11
Early online date13 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Bariatric endoscopy
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Consensus
  • Delphi survey
  • Management
  • Obesity
  • Treatment


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