MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:VVUS), today announced its support of new clinical practice guidelines urging healthcare providers to take an active role in helping overweight or obese patients achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The guidelines also state that obesity medication can be considered as an adjunct to lifestyle intervention to help appropriate patients (individuals with BMI > 30 or BMI > 27 with at least one obesity-associated comorbid condition) achieve their weight loss goals. The new guidelines were developed by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and The Obesity Society, in conjunction with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. In addition, a publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association, by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, found that medications approved for long-term obesity treatment, when used as an adjunct to lifestyle intervention, lead to an increased likelihood of achieving clinically meaningful weight loss. "Obesity is a complex condition affecting millions of Americans, and diet and exercise alone are often not enough," said Barbara Troupin, MD, vice president, scientific communication and risk management, VIVUS. "VIVUS supports this new guidance, and encourages physicians to work closely with patients to find the treatment plans that will help them achieve the benefits of a lower, healthier weight." The guidelines are based on reviews of current literature on the risks of obesity and the benefits of weight loss, by a panel of experts convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The 2013 ACC/AHA/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults can be viewed on the websites of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Obesity and Losing Weight Many factors – beyond overeating and not exercising enough – may contribute to excess weight gain. These include environmental factors, genetics, health conditions or certain medications, emotional and other behavioral factors.