BOSTON — In this video exclusive from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists annual meeting, W. Timothy Garvey, MD, FACE, professor of medicine and chair of the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, outlined several successful strategies to better engage patients in their obesity management.
“This can be a challenging problem, and the success depends upon harmonizing treatment goals between the health care professional and the patient,” Garvey said.
Obesity carries a lot of stigma, Garvey said, and is often not dealt with favorably in society. Patients, in turn, can carry a lot of guilt related to excess weight and may be reluctant to discuss the issue with their health care provider, he said.
need to bring it up,” Garvey said. “You need to ask permission to discuss this with your patients. Usually, it is
best to bring it up in the context
of concerns you may have about how the weight problem impacts their health.”
Garvey said a health care
should work with a patient to understand
achieving an “ideal” body weight
might be a goal, that can be difficult. Instead, he recommends focusing on smaller, proactive steps
to improve health, such as working toward a goal of 10% weight loss, to
like obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, joint pain
and prediabetes. Then,
engage the patient in a more long-term program to maintain health and quality of life, he said.
“This is a chronic disease, and we really need to commit ourselves to long-term intervention,” Garvey said.