You get weighed at the doctor's office. Then what?
It's one of the worst parts of any routine visit to the doctor's office: You take off your shoes and stand on the scale, usually out in a hallway, and wait for the bad news. (If you're like me, you always figure your clothes weigh at least 10 pounds, right?) The nurse scribbles the number down on your chart, maybe making note of your height, too.
And then what happens?
In most cases, apparently, nothing much.
Yesterday the STOP (for Strategies to Overcome and Prevent) Obesity Alliance released data from recent research. It showed that while the vast majority (89 percent) of the 290 primary-care physicians surveyed felt responsible for helping patients manage their weight, most (72 percent) say they lack the resources and training to effectively counsel their overweight and obese patients.
And while most of the 1,002 adults surveyed separately said they take responsibility for their own weight, most don't feel they receive adequate weight management guidance from their physicians. Of those with a BMI of 30 or above -- the standard cutoff for obesity -- only 39 percent said a health-care professional had ever told them they were obese. Of those who had been told they were obese, almost 90 percent were told they should lose weight, but only a third were offered guidance on how to do so.
The STOP Obesity Alliance also issued a "white paper" yesterday that spells out potential remedies to these and other problems in the primary care physician-obese patient relationship. The organization notes that it's important to get a handle on the problem, because nearly 34 percent of American adults are obese, and an additional 34 percent are overweight, according to the CDC.
But as this article makes plain, doctor-patient conversations about weight aren't always straightforward exchanges of information. They can be so weighed down by emotional baggage that they're painful for both parties.
I'd like to hear about how your physician addresses your weight -- if he or she does so at all. Have you had a painful -- or a positive -- experience discussing how much you weigh and what you should do about it? Weigh in with a comment -- and please take today's poll!
And join me and "Feed the Belly" author Frances Largeman-Roth for a chat Thursday at 1 p.m. ET on eating healthfully while pregnant.
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