Healthcare News & Insights

Most practices falling short of helping curb obesity

Patients have a responsibility to manage their own health. But a new report indicates that there’s a lot more most doctors could be doing to help them.

That’s one of the lessons of the new report, Improving Obesity Management in Adult Primary Care (PDF), published by the STOP Obesity Alliance Research Team at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

The report notes that health providers functioning as patients’ primary doctor (family practice, pediatrics, gynecology, etc.) aren’t sufficiently screening for signs of obesity, educating their patients about the risks of being overweight or providing patients with tools to better manage their health.

We’re not talking about intensive counseling — even basic screens aren’t being done. For example, at roughly 50% of  patient visits, patients’ height and weight aren’t noted, which means BMI can’t be calculated. And among patients who are clinically obese, 70% weren’t given a formal diagnosis of obesity; 63% weren’t given physician counseling.

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