Task Force Backs Obesity Counseling

By Schneider, Mary Ellen | Clinical Psychiatry News, March 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Task Force Backs Obesity Counseling


Schneider, Mary Ellen, Clinical Psychiatry News


A new recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force may help physicians help their patients tackle obesity.

The task force now recommends that physicians screen their adult patients for obesity and offer intensive counseling, or refer obese patients to it, in order to promote weight loss. Intensive counseling includes two or more individual or group counseling sessions on diet and exercise monthly for at least 3 months (Ann. Intern. Med. 138[11]:930-49, 2003).

For Dr. Michael O. Fleming, it won't be hard to take these recommendations to heart. "I'm obese as well," said Dr. Fleming, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. "I can put it in very personal terms when I talk to patients."

In conjunction with the AAFP's Americans in Motion initiative, Dr. Fleming has lost 19 pounds since this summer and uses a pedometer to count his steps. He recommends the device to patients as well.

The AAFP initiative asks family physicians to be role models for their patients by getting healthier.

It's important for "physicians to be able to walk the talk," and set a good example for their patients, said Dr. Fleming.

For too long, physicians have had the attitude of do what I say, not what I do, he said. "We have to take a leadership role."

Screening for obesity can be done one of two ways: either using body mass index (BMI) or centrally located body weight, the task force recommendations say. Patients with a BMI of 25-29.9 are considered overweight; those with a BMI above 30 are considered obese.

Centrally located body weight, which can be assessed by measuring waist circumference, can help screen for cardiovascular disease, the task force said. Men with waist circumferences of more than 40 inches and women with waist circumferences of more than 35 inches have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. However, the recommendations say that these measurements may not be accurate for people with a BMI of more than 35.

The task force also concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of moderate- or low-intensity counseling--monthly or less frequent--to promote weight loss in obese adults.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Task Force Backs Obesity Counseling
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?