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Who discusses reaching a healthy weight with a general practitioner? Findings from the 2014-2015 Australian National Health Survey

Kilpatrick, M ORCID: 0000-0001-6039-9154, Nelson, M ORCID: 0000-0001-9941-7161, Palmer, A ORCID: 0000-0002-9703-7891, Jose, KA ORCID: 0000-0002-9346-6429 and Venn, A ORCID: 0000-0001-7090-1398 2018 , 'Who discusses reaching a healthy weight with a general practitioner? Findings from the 2014-2015 Australian National Health Survey' , Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, vol. 12, no. 5 , pp. 459-464 , doi:

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Objective: General practitioners (GPs) can positively impact upon patient intentions to lose weight and weight management, and are important in the referral pathway to specialist weight-loss programs and surgical interventions. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics and proportions of Australians who report talking to a GP about weight management.Methods: Cross-sectional data from 15,329 participants aged 15 years and over in the 2014-15 Australian National Health Survey were used. Proportions (with 95% confidence intervals (95%CI)) of respondents who reported discussing reaching a healthy weight with a GP in the previous 12 months were estimated, categorised by demographic, social and health characteristics.Results: We found that 10.8% (95%CI:9.8-11.8) of overweight participants, 24.4% (95%CI:22.7-26.4) with Class 1 obesity (30≤BMI 2) and 41.8% (95%CI:38.3-45.3) with Classes II/III obesity (BMI≥35kg/m2) reported discussing weight with a GP. Higher proportions of respondents with Class II/Class III obesity and poor/fair self-reported health (50.2%, 95%CI:43.3-57.0), or high/very high levels of psychological distress (53.3%, 95%CI:43.7-61.4), or diabetes (64.8%, 95%CI:51.9-77.3) reported discussing weight. As age, number of GP visits, or comorbid conditions increased, the proportions of people who discussed their weight with a GP also increased, across all weight classes.Conclusions: While discussions are more likely with increasing BMI and comorbidities, most Australians with overweight and obesity appear to be missing opportunities to discuss reaching a healthy weight with their GP. Policies, training and education programs to encourage this dialogue could lead to earlier and more beneficial weight-related interventions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kilpatrick, M and Nelson, M and Palmer, A and Jose, KA and Venn, A
Keywords: obesity, primary care, weight management
Journal or Publication Title: Obesity Research and Clinical Practice
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 1871-403X
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2018 Asia Oceania Association for the Study of Obesity

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