Partner With Physicians To Succeed at Controlling Your Weight
physicians or healthcare practitioners involved in your weight
management process may be just the step you need to succeed.
majority of Americans believe they need to reach a healthier weight,
they aren't consulting healthcare professionals for assistance, nor do
they recognize that the health implications of excess weight and
obesity rival or exceed the risks posed by other serious, chronic
diseases, a new study has found.
while most Americans wouldn't consider treating their high blood
pressure, diabetes or cancer on their own, the opposite is true when it
comes to weight management, according to Weight Expectations Report, a
survey developed for Knoll Pharmaceutical Company by Leflein Associates
Inc. Nearly two-thirds of people who said they need to lose weight to
improve their health (64 percent) did not consult a physician in the
past year, the survey indicated.
guidelines developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
(NHLBI) emphasize the need for physicians to play an active role in
helping patients manage weight. However, overweight people currently
appear to be trying to "go it alone" to reduce their weight to a
healthier level, without working with a medical professional, study
to the two-thirds of individuals who did not consult physicians
concerning their weight, only 21 percent of respondents who need to
maintain or lose weight rated "physician care" as a very effective tool
in that process, the study found.
more than half of those who recognize that they need to lose weight say
they determined what their healthy weight level was on their own; only
17 percent said a doctor or nurse provided this information, the report
have an important tool, the Body Mass Index (BMI) to help recognize if
their weight may increase health risks," said Dr. Louis J. Aronne,
clinical associate professor of medicine, New York Hospital —
Cornell Medical Center. "If their BMI is 25 or above, they should talk
to their physician to assess their risks and to develop strategies to
prevent further weight gain. If their BMI is 30 or greater, their
physician may recommend a more aggressive plan for weight loss and
line is that they need to work with their physician — to assess
weight and risks and to develop a plan to manage their weight," Aronne
to the prevalence of people who report self-treating their weight, an
overwhelming majority of those who need to maintain or lose weight say
that their primary physician should play a role in their weight
management, the study found. These individuals expect their physicians
Evaluate their weight condition (80 percent);
Prescribe weight loss medication (89 percent);
Provide motivation to start a weight loss program (58 percent); and
Be involved in creating a complete weight loss program to suit their
needs (43 percent), on par with what they expect from a nutritionist.
who are self-treating, even if they believe they are using the right
dietary and physical activity tools, need to work with their physician
to create a comprehensive weight and health management plan that they
can stick with for the long haul," Aronne stressed.
expectations in terms of rate and amount of weight loss are primary
reasons that many people give up on weight management efforts.
Approximately 58 percent of those surveyed said they believe they need
to lose weight to achieve a healthy or ideal weight. These individuals
indicated they would like to lose an average of 22 pounds.
respondents were to lose weight, they indicated that doing so at an
average rate of 2.6 pounds a week would make them feel their methods
were successful. In comparison, federal guidelines recommend steady
loss of 1 to 1.5 pounds per week.
Americans who need to maintain or lose weight mistakenly believe that
an overweight person would have to lose an average of 17 percent of
their weight to improve their health and sense of well-being. However,
a modest loss of 5 percent to 10 percent, when maintained, has been
shown to improve health and reduce risks of other diseases associated
with excess weight and obesity, report authors noted.
Address: Knoll Pharmaceutical Company, 8800 Lion Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71106; (318) 861-8200 www.healthyweight.com.
Barriers to Weight Loss
American adults are reporting a variety of reasons for their inability to maintain a healthy weight. They include:
Unhealthy eating habits — 63 percent
Lack of motivation — 53 percent
Lack of time to exercise — 48 percent
Food cravings — 46 percent
Eating out too much — 41 percent
Job stress — 23 percent
Source: Weight Expectations Report, Knoll Pharmaceutical Company, 1998.