Videos Provide FPs Guidance on Encouraging Patients to Live Healthier Lifestyles

May 17, 2010 08:00 am News Staff

AAFP member Michelle May, M.D., of Phoenix, 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.

May also is the founder and director of the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Workshops(, which teach participants to eat instinctively, live more active lifestyles and balance eating for enjoyment with eating for health. May's program was used as the basis for the AAFP's Americans in Motion health and fitness campaign.

May recently sat down in the AAFP recording studio to offer her family physician colleagues some insight into dealing with and encouraging patients who are struggling with weight issues. In her first video message, May talks about how physicians can help their patients think not only about what they are eating but, more importantly, why they are eating.

In the second video, May discusses teachable moments and how such moments can help family physicians educate their patients about healthy lifestyles. She says physicians have to get past the "stop signs" their patients put up and move from offering advice to their patients to encouraging a shared decion-making model. She urges physicians to use a strategy known as motivational interviewing.