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Support from health care professionals can help patients achieve clinically significant and maintained weight loss1

Physician talking to overweight patient


Physician-initiated discussions motivate patients to lose weight and change behavior.1,2

  • Research showed that patients are less likely to start the dialogue for many reasons, including:
    • Potential for hearing hurtful comments about their weight3
    • Fear of being blamed for their weight problems4
    • Shame and embarrassment about their weight4
  • To achieve sustainable weight loss, long-term intervention is often required.5


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  1. Loureiro ML, Nayga RM Jr. Obesity, weight loss, and physician’s advice. Soc Sci Med. 2006;62(10):2458-2468.

  2. Rueda-Clausen CF, Benterud E, Bond T, Olszowka R, Vallis MT, Sharma AM. Effect of implementing the 5As of Obesity Management framework on provider-patient interactions in primary care. Clin Obes. 2014;4(1):39-44.

  3. National Institutes of Health. US Department of Health and Human Services. Medical Care for Patients with Obesity. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2003. Updated 2011. NIH publication 03-5335.

  4. Ruelaz AR, Diefenbach P, Simon B, Lanto A, Arterburn D, Shekelle PG. Perceived barriers to weight management in primary care—perspectives of patients and providers. J Gen Intern Med. 2007;22(4):518-522.

  5. Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Apovian CM, et al; American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines; Obesity Society. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(25 pt B):2985-3023.