Is there a well regarded medical/academic type of blood panel test or list of items to get tested for, when unable to loose weight, despite proper diet and exercise efforts?

For example, this comes up in a quick Google search, however, was looking for something not tied to any marketing...but with more medical/academic credibility.

(Female, early 30's).

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    Thyroid testing (a complete set of those tests). – L.B. Jun 21 '17 at 17:04
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    @l-b: please expand as answer... – Greg McNulty Jun 23 '17 at 19:41
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    Also found an actual panel from what seems to be a legit online lab and most of them items seem to match multiple sources: walkinlab.com/blog/blood-tests-can-help-manage-weight-loss – Greg McNulty Jun 23 '17 at 20:30
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    @GregMcNulty That link expounds on my comment better than I could :) – L.B. Jun 26 '17 at 14:21
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    It's too comprehensive, most wouldn't go that far on the first round of testing. They'd do some basic ones, then additional ones depending on what the history and physical suggest. – DoctorWhom Feb 15 '18 at 22:42

The majority of people who are overweight have difficulty losing weight. If they didn't there wouldn't be an obesity crisis in the western world.


Doing blood tests on 2 billion people who can't lose weight is almost a complete waste of money and resources.

As regards to a claim of a proper diet most people will tell you that they're on a good diet. And almost always that is incorrect because their knowledge of nutrition is misinformed. Again, if their knowledge were correct they would be less likely to be in this position. To support this at least one study has shown that nutritional knowledge is inversely correlated with healthy eating.

Students with greater nutritional knowledge consumed less unhealthy fats and cholesterol. This finding magnifies the role of nutrition education as a potential tool in health campaigns to promote healthy eating patterns among college students. Results of this pilot study can inform the design of future nutrition education intervention studies to assess the efficacy of nutrition knowledge on pattern of fat consumption among college students. [1]


Our results also demonstrate that black race and lower education within a low-income sample were independently related to misidentification of low nutrition and high caloric content foods. Misidentification was generally in the direction of believing that food items were healthier than they actually are. These findings are consistent with USDA survey results that found that black participants were less able than white participants to correctly identify foods with higher fat content [40]. [2]

If the physician considers that there might be an underlying issue, then thyroid function might be the only reasonable test to perform if there are sufficient grounds on clinical suspicion. Otherwise, consider the drugs and mental status of the person as eating is a common go-to activity for the depressed.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5050673/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3717981/
  3. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/obesity-in-adults-behavioral-therapy
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    I strongly disagree with the statement "if their knowledge were correct they wouldn't be in this position." Improving knowledge deficiencies does go a long way, yes. But there are so many other factors in play that this is not accurate, it is an oversimplification of a complex issue. – DoctorWhom Mar 17 '18 at 20:35
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    That's not my experience. Almost all my overweight patients have a limited understanding of nutrition. – Graham Chiu Mar 17 '18 at 20:44
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    @DoctorWhom It's well known that poor eating habits and obesity are linked to socioeconomic status and education. If you disagree, then provide a link to support your argument. – Graham Chiu Mar 17 '18 at 20:50
  • Sorry I somehow missed this response. I disagree with how you had originally said it, but approve of your changes. I of course agree that insufficient knowledge is often the PRIMARY barrier to appropriate weight management. However, Health Behavior is a field of study and a part of MPH training for a reason: health behavior changes rarely hinge on a single factor, and effectively encouraging change usually requires understanding and addressing multiple barrier factors. – DoctorWhom Mar 22 '18 at 18:37
  • I will see if I can recommend some resources, especially if you still have access to AccessMedicine or other textbook databases. I also do lifestyle medicine consults in our primary care clinic, and it is a principle of LM training that a multi-factoral approach rooted in Health Behavior Change principles is much more successful in encouraging effective change than just providing knowledge - and that is what I see with my patients. Assessing sleep, mental health, and other factors impacting diet/exercise behaviors is part of our base visit template for a reason. – DoctorWhom Mar 22 '18 at 18:43

The list of tests in the link you posted is pretty complete. It is indeed a complete set of tests for that occasion.

Here is a bit more credible source though.

Keep in mind though, only a doctor can always recommend the appropriate tests if needed, not the internet.

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    Actually most doctors would not order the testosterone/estrogen/DHEA or stress hormones to start out with unless clinical history suggests something like PCOS. Usually they start with CMP CBC A1c Lipids TSH (and maybe T4/T3). Additional testing depends on the history and physical exam, and then results of the first round of tests. – DoctorWhom Feb 15 '18 at 22:46

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