Management of obesity

NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Praxis Press) The way in which physicians recognize and manage obesity is unknown. To estimate national patterns of office-based, obesity-related practices and to determine the independent predictors of these practices, Stafford and colleagues performed serial cross-sectional surveys of 55,858 adult physician office visits.

August 2, 2000

NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Praxis Press) The way in which physicians recognize and manage obesity is unknown. To estimate national patterns of office-based, obesity-related practices and to determine the independent predictors of these practices, Stafford and colleagues performed serial cross-sectional surveys of 55,858 adult physician office visits. The researchers assessed reporting of obesity at office visits and physician counseling for weight loss, exercise, and diet among patients identified as obese. They found that physicians reported obesity in only 8.6% of visits, suggesting that physicians reported obesity in only 38% of their obese patients. Among visits by patients identified as obese, physicians frequently provided counseling for weight loss (35.5%), exercise (32.8%), and diet (41.5%). When adjusting for population prevalence, however, each service was provided to no more than one quarter of all obese patients. In patients with obesity-related comorbidities, weight loss counseling occurred at only 52% of the visits. Obesity is underreported and interventions are only moderately likely among patients identified as obese, even for those with serious obesity-related comorbidities.

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