154662 Physician counseling and patient action for weight loss

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 1:30 PM

Holly C. Felix, PhD , Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
Rates of obesity in the US are high and increasing in all age groups. Obesity presents a significant public health threat because of its association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, stroke, osteoarthritis, some cancers, physical and mental functioning decline resulting in increased rates of nursing home admissions, and premature death. In 2003, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTC) released clinical guidelines recommending physicians provide weight loss counseling to their overweight and obese patients. Previous studies examining physician weight loss counseling reported low rates of counseling. However, these studies primarily used data collected prior to the 2003 recommendations. To assess the impact of the 2003 recommendations, 2005 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey data was examined for rates of physician weight loss counseling and weight loss action among obese adults who reported visiting a doctor within the last 12 months (n=54,090). In this presentation, results from this analysis, including rates of physician weight loss counseling and patient weight loss action (in comparison to previous findings) and social-demographic patient characteristics predictive of physician counseling and weight loss action among those advised to lose weight will be discussed. These results indicate weight loss counseling has increased (from 40% in 2000 to 44% in 2005), suggesting a positive impact of the USPSTC recommendations. Results show a significant difference (p=<.001) in current efforts to lose weight among those receiving and not receiving weight loss counseling, with 90% of those counseled reporting efforts to lose weight, whereas only 67% of those not counseled reporting efforts to lose weight. Weight loss among obese elderly is desirable considering the association between obesity and functioning decline and nursing home admissions, and weight loss counseling to obese elderly has increased (from 32% in 2000 to 37% in 2005). And, there was no significant difference in reports of efforts to lose weight among obese elders who were advised to lose weight in comparison to their younger counterparts. This suggests that when advised to lose weight, elders who are obese are as likely to try to lose weight as non-elders who are obese. However, obese elderly were significantly (p=<.001) less likely to report receiving physician advice to lose weight than their younger counterparts. Recommendations based on the results for further research, and for patients and physicians will also be noted in the presentation.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives. As a result of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Discuss the US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines related to weight loss counseling 2. State physician weight loss counseling rates and socio-demographic patient characteristics predictive of counseling 3. State patient weight loss actions associated with physician weight loss advice and socio-demographic patient characteristics predictive of positive weight loss action.

Keywords: Obesity, Counseling

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.