A Practical Guide to Engaging Individuals with Obesity

Barbara M McGowan
Obesity Facts 2016, 9 (3): 182-92
Obesity is officially recognised as a chronic disease and a top public health priority by several global societies and healthcare bodies. In some European countries, the majority of the adult population is either overweight or obese, with major implications for patient health and healthcare systems. General practitioners (GPs) are well-placed to tackle this epidemic, yet their engagement with patients is fraught with challenges and barriers. These include time limitations, a lack of evidence base, sensitivities around raising the topic of obesity with patients, inadequate availability of supporting local weight loss services, a lack of training for healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the management of obesity and a limited number of effective therapies. A number of steps need to be implemented to promote engagement between GPs and individuals with obesity. This article provides a European perspective on the obstacles that patients face in accessing healthcare services and discusses a variety of approaches for engaging individuals with obesity and facilitating the management of obesity as a chronic disease.

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