ECO 2019: Should we initiate conversations about excess weight sooner?


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Researchers have suggested that “appropriate and supportive weight management conversations” should be initiated with people with obesity (PwO) earlier, with a new study showing patients struggling with excess weight waited a mean of six years to discuss the issue with their healthcare provider. 

The study, presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO 2019) and published this week in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, surveyed over 14,500 PwO and 2,785 healthcare professionals (HCPs) from 11 countries. 

It found most PwO (68%) would like their HCP to initiate a conversation about weight and only 3 per cent were offended by such a conversation. 

The study also identified a disconnect in perceptions about desires to lose weight among HCPs and PwO. Only 31 per cent of HCPs thought their patients were motivated to lose weight, whereas 48 per cent of PwO said they were motivated to lose weight.

"Our data suggest that PwO are motivated to lose weight and there is an opportunity for HCPs to initiate earlier, effective weight loss conversations with minimal fear of offence," said the study's lead author Professor Ian Caterson of the University of Sydney, Australia.

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