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Q&A: How to engage patients in managing obesity

Q&A: How to engage patients in managing obesity
May 25, 2017

As a potential risk factor for conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, obesity is an aspect of overall health that should be monitored as part of routine primary care. When excess weight is combined with other risk factors such as high cholesterol, elevated BP, or elevated blood glucose, addressing and treating the obesity is a heightened priority.
The clinician should begin the conversation in a manner that engages the patient, rather than inadvertently humiliating, judging or alarming the patient, as these approaches are alienating.
physicians should have adequate knowledge of obesity treatment strategies to engage the patient in an informed discussion about the full range of available options, and know when referral to an obesity specialist is warranted.
Healio Internal Medicine spoke with Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness, about how the PCP can establish themselves as a compassionate, knowledgeable, and helpful resource in managing a patient’s obesity.

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