Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles: A Special Report on Overweight and Obesity

FPs Play Key Role in Preventing, Treating Obesity

Patient-Centered Approach Seen as Key to Reversing Obesity Trends

May 17, 2010 08:00 am — The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States has soared during the past two decades. In fact, according to a report recently released by the surgeon general, the prevalence of obesity among adults grew from 13.4 percent in 1980 to 34.3 percent in 2008. The prevalence among children grew from 5 percent to 17 percent during the same period.

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  • FPs Play Key Role in Preventing, Treating Obesity

    05/17/2010 — The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States has soared during the past two decades. In fact, according to a report recently released by the surgeon general, the prevalence of obesity among adults grew from 13.4 percent in 1980 to 34.3 percent in 2008. The prevalence among children grew from 5 percent to 17 percent during the same period.

  • Federal Initiatives Aim to Halt Obesity Epidemic

    05/17/2010 — The federal government has made the prevention and treatment of obesity a major part of its campaign to improve the health of America by launching a series of initiatives that are likely to have a long-term impact on stemming the tide of obesity in this country. That's according to analysts interviewed by AAFP News Now.

  • FPs Can Guide Patients to Healthier Living

    05/17/2010 — For Frank Domino, M.D., of Worcester, Mass., a quick glance at his patient roster for the week reminds him of just how unhealthy Americans have become -- eight of the 13 patients scheduled for the day -- a Tuesday -- need to lose weight, exercise or both, says Domino in an interview with AAFP News Now. "On Wednesday afternoon, 100 percent need to lose weight, exercise or both.”

  • Managing, Preventing Childhood Obesity Is a Family Affair

    05/17/2010 — It's not hard to make the case that childhood obesity is a problem that this nation needs to face, and quickly. "The data show that kids as young as 4-6 years of age are being diagnosed with diseases we used to only see in adults -- hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, arthritis," says FP Walt Larimore, M.D., of Monument, Colo.

  • Group Visits for Obesity Benefit Patients, Practices

    05/17/2010 — During the first year Byron Haney, M.D., of Ellensburg, Wash., offered his patients shared medical appointments, also known as group visits, to treat metabolic syndrome and diabetes, they lost an average of 15 to 22 pounds. The same groups of patients had gained an average of 10 pounds in the year prior to attending shared medical appointments, or SMAs.

  • Properly Framing Healthy Lifestyle Conversations Is Key

    05/17/2010 — As America's collective waistline continues to expand -- and the health of millions of its residents declines as a result -- it becomes ever more essential that primary care health professionals offer guidance on weight-related issues and reinforce the importance of healthy living in their patients. Fortunately, they are in an ideal position to do so.

  • Getting Paid for Obesity Services Becoming Easier

    05/17/2010 — With their extensive training and emphasis on treating the whole person, family physicians are the medical specialty of choice to help Americans live healthier lifestyles and shed some excess weight in the process. Unfortunately, insurance companies have never been keen on paying physicians to counsel or treat patients regarding weight-related topics alone -- despite the fact that since at least 1997, ICD-9 codes have existed for obesity, unspecified; morbid obesity; and overweight.

  • Fad Diets Not Answer to Long-term Weight Loss

    05/17/2010 — When it comes to weight loss, there is no doubt that so-called fad diets are everywhere. From television commercials to magazines lining the racks at the local grocery store, rapid weight-loss promises are practically plastered on every corner. But according to the CDC, fad diets can limit nutritional intake, are unhealthy, and always seem to fail in the long run. According to the CDC's Healthy Weight -- It's Not a Diet, It's a Lifestyle! Web page, a fad diet is any diet that promises fast results and represents only a short-term dietary change.

  • Weight-loss Drugs, Surgical Procedures Have Drawbacks

    05/17/2010 — When a patient who is obese can't shed pounds through diet and exercise, other options exist. However, family physicians interviewed by AAFP News Now said weight-loss medications aren't a long-term solution, and surgery has its risks. "I've found that medications might work for a month or two," said Andrew Pasternak, M.D., of Reno, Nev. "(Patients) lose some weight, but if (they) don't change their behavior, as soon as they stop taking the medication, the weight comes back."

  • Early Study Results Show AIM-HI Works

    05/17/2010 — Here's a simple message for physicians struggling to find a fitness program that helps patients lead a healthier lifestyle: AIM-HI works. Preliminary results from the AAFP's Americans In Motion-Healthy Interventions, or AIM-HI, research project, which was conducted by the Academy's National Research Network, or NRN, indicate that the program can help patients increase physical activity, make healthier choices, lose weight and maintain those lifestyle changes.

  • Residencies Seek to Enhance Obesity Management Training

    05/17/2010 — Previous research has indicated that medical schools don't spend enough time teaching students about nutrition and weight. Now, a recent study suggests a similar shortfall in childhood obesity training exists among primary care residency programs. But thanks to innovative programs springing up around the country, that deficit may be about to change.

  • Med Schools Work to Provide Nutrition, Obesity Prevention Training

    05/17/2010 — Although knowledge about nutrition will be important to future physicians as they treat patients who are overweight or obese, there's not enough instruction about this topic in today's medical schools, say medical educators. In fact, a 2007 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, "Contemporary Issues in Medicine: The Prevention and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity, Medical School Objectives Project" said that training in this area has to improve.

  • Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles Toolkit

    05/17/2010 — The amount of information on overweight, obesity and healthy lifestyles available for family physicians and their patients can be overwhelming. That is why the staff of AAFP News Now have compiled this list of resources physicians and their patients can use to find out more information. Although certainly not inclusive, this list does provide a starting point for those seeking more education and tools.

  • Videos Offer Guidance on Healthy Lifestyle Talks

    05/17/2010 — AAFP member Michelle May, M.D., is an author, keynote speaker and expert on the topic of weight management. A self-styled recovered yo-yo dieter, May has extensive experience in dealing with weight management from both personal experience and from the perspective of patients who struggle with overweight and obesity.

  • Patient Stories on Losing Weight and Getting Healthy

    05/17/2010 — Weight problems and the lack of a healthy lifestyle is something that can affect anyone. These audiocasts tell the story of AAFP Past President Michael Fleming, M.D., of Shreveport, La., who has struggled with weight issues his entire life; AAFP staff member Mike Chamberlain, who relates how his family physician helped him get healthier; and AAFP staff member Diane Schmid, who needed more information to help her change her lifestyle.

  • U.S. Surgeon General Talks About Anti-Obesity Campaign

    05/17/2010 — U.S. Surgeon General and family physician Regina Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., has made the prevention and treatment of obesity a major part of her campaign to improve the health of America.