Letters to the Editor

Treatment of Obese Patients Should Include Weight Loss



FREE PREVIEW Log in or buy this issue to read the full article. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles. Subscribe now.


FREE PREVIEW Subscribe or buy this issue. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles.

Am Fam Physician. 2002 Jul 1;66(1) Online.

to the editor: I would like to commend the National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity for their article offering advice to family physicians who wish to help obese patients improve their health.1 The article illustrates many of the barriers to health care that are encountered by persons who are obese and offers a variety of excellent suggestions that physicians can use proactively to lessen these barriers.

While it is extremely important to address all the health issues confronted by patients who are obese, physicians should realize that these patients are also counting on their physicians to assist them in losing weight. In our practice, we surveyed 105 patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than30.Of these patients, 95 percent thought weight loss was important, and 84 percent felt that their family physician could help them to lose weight.2 Unfortunately, both in our practice and nationwide, physicians have yet to even broach the issue of weight loss with most obese patients.3

I very much agree with the statement that, for patients who are obese, "physicians can encourage improvements in healthy behaviors, regardless of the patient’s desire for, or success with, weight loss treatment."1 Clearly, our patients who are obese are waiting and hoping for their physicians to do exactly that, and more.

REFERENCES

1. Medical care for obese patients: advice for health care professionals. Am Fam Physician 2002;65:81-8.

2. Potter MB, Vu JD, Croughan-Minihane M. Weight management: what patients want from their primary care physicians. J Fam Pract 2001;50:513-8.

3. Mokdad AH, Serdula MK, Dietz WH, Bowman BA, Marks JS, Koplan JP. The spread of the obesity epidemic in the United States, 1991-1998. JAMA 1999;282:1519-22.

Send letters to Kenneth W. Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online, e-mail: afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680.

Please include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the American Academy of Family Physicians permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.


Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Article Tools

  • Print page
  • Share this page
  • AFP CME Quiz

Information From Industry

Navigate this Article