Feature Article

Obesity in primary care. 10 practical ways to help your patients lose weight




Obesity is a growing health problem around the world, due to systemic and individual reasons. Most countries have developed guidelines to deal with the individual causes of obesity, but these have had limited impact on the population prevalence of obesity. Primary care is an important avenue to influence the individual determinants of obesity. In this article, the authors draw on their long-term experiences to suggest 10 practical recommendations for managing weight loss in primary care.

Key Points

  • Obesity is now recognised as a chronic disease that continues to increase in prevalence in most countries.
  • Although obesity is largely a systemic problem, with roots in politics, economics, society etc, primary care is an important avenue for clinical treatment.
  • Most countries have developed guidelines for weight-loss management but, unlike many infectious disease treatments, there is no single mode of treatment.
  • Despite large differences in managing weight loss in individuals, there are practical ways (additional to clinical guidelines) that can help GPs manage weight loss in primary care.

    Picture credit: © World Obesity
    Model used for illustrative purposes only