Care providers' understanding of obesity treatment is limited

March 23, 2018, George Washington University

Despite the high prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults, provision of recommended treatments for obesity remains low. Providers cite lack of time, lack of reimbursement, and lack of knowledge as major barriers to treating patients with obesity. A new study published in Obesity assessed health care professionals' (HCPs') knowledge of evidence-based guidelines for nonsurgical treatment of obesity.

In this study, the authors conducted a web-based survey of a nationally representative sample of 1506 internists, family practitioners, obstetricians/gynecologists, and nurse practitioners to determine their understanding of obesity treatment guidelines. The results indicate that most providers lack knowledge and understanding of recommended obesity treatments, such as behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy.

Author William Dietz, MD, PhD, FTOS, Past President of The Obesity Society, Director of the STOP Obesity Alliance and Chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, said, "Our findings offer professionals and medical educators a strong rationale for incorporating enhanced training on the prevention and management of obesity into their curricula."

The Obesity Society Spokesperson Ken Fujioka, MD, FTOS, Director of the Center for Weight Management and Director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic, said, "This is a big-time paper that clearly demonstrates the lack of basic knowledge about obesity in the health care community. Admittedly, we have always known this, but this is clear evidence that we have a major problem because obesity is the most common disease seen in primary care." These findings strongly suggest that additional obesity training is needed.

Additionally, in an accompanying editorial published in Obesity, Robert Kushner, MD, FTOS, examines the impact of this study. "The study suggests that more obesity education is needed among primary that focuses on knowledge along with enhanced competencies in patient care management, communication, and behavior change," said Dr. Kushner, Past President of The Obesity Society, Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, IL. Overall, more education and training are needed among .

Explore further: Obesity drives US health care costs up by 29 percent, varies by state

Related Stories

Obesity drives US health care costs up by 29 percent, varies by state

February 7, 2018
The prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically in the U.S., but there has been little information about the economic impact of this trend for individual states.

Improved health care systems needed to combat obesity crisis

February 18, 2015
Policy and environmental changes are very important in preventing unhealthy weight gain but may not help people with severe obesity achieve substantial weight loss, according to a report published online February 18 in The ...

Obesity is barely covered in medical students' licensing exam

January 20, 2017
Obesity is one of the most significant threats to health in the U.S. and is responsible for the development of multiple serious medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Yet obesity is barely ...

Pediatric obesity guidelines serve as toolkit for treating patients with obesity

September 23, 2016
The Obesity Medicine Association today released guidelines on pediatric obesity care for healthcare professionals who make decisions for pediatric patients with obesity. In a project led by Dr. Suzanne Cuda, associate professor ...

Abdominal obesity linked to all-cause mortality in HFpEF

November 28, 2017
(HealthDay)—For patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), abdominal obesity is associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality, according to a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the ...

Annual visit rate for obesity is 49 visits per 1,000 persons

March 4, 2016
(HealthDay)—In 2012 there were 11 million visits to health care providers for obesity, with variation in visit rates by age and sex, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...

Recommended for you

Study finds behavioral changes insufficient at preventing early childhood obesity

August 7, 2018
Young children and their families in poor communities were able to make some achievable and sustainable behavioral changes during the longest and largest obesity prevention intervention, but, in the end, the results were ...

Responsive parenting intervention results in lower BMIs through age three

August 7, 2018
An intervention designed to promote healthy growth, which taught first-time moms how to respond with age-appropriate responses to their babies' needs, resulted in children having lower body mass indexes (BMIs) when they were ...

Measure of belly fat in older adults is linked with cognitive impairment

August 1, 2018
A new study using data from over 5,000 individuals has found that a measure of belly fat (waist:hip ratio) was associated with reduced cognitive function in older Irish adults (>60 years of age). These findings have significant ...

How can you avoid regaining those lost kilos?

July 23, 2018
The hardest part about losing weight is maintaining it. Many people manage to lose weight, but in time the kilos can slowly come back.

Food for thought: How the brain reacts to food may be linked to overeating

July 19, 2018
The reason why some people find it so hard to resist finishing an entire bag of chips or bowl of candy may lie with how their brain responds to food rewards, leaving them more vulnerable to overeating.

Children are less likely to be obese if mothers stick to a healthy lifestyle

July 4, 2018
Children of mothers who follow a healthy lifestyle have a substantially lower risk of developing obesity than children of mothers who don't make healthy lifestyle choices, finds a study published in The BMJ.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.