Need to educate healthcare providers on obesity

“They should be kept abreast on the latest prevention and treatment methods”

New Delhi, March 27, 2018: 

As per a recent study conducted by Washington University, most healthcare providers lack knowledge and understanding of recommended obesity treatments, such as behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy. They participants cited lack of time, reimbursement, and knowledge as major barriers to treating patients with obesity.

The study has identified the need for obesity education among primary health care providers that focuses on knowledge along with enhanced competencies in patient care management, communication, and behavior change. The prevalence of obesity in India is increasing and ranges from 8% to 38% in rural and 13% to 50% in urban areas.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Healthcare professionals and providers play a very important role in helping overcome. It begins with recognizing that individuals who have obesity require understanding, respect and support; and acknowledging that overweight and obesity are major causes of ill health which present huge social and economic burdens. It is imperative to keep all healthcare professionals up to date with the latest prevention and treatment methods for obesity. Apart from this, the need of the hour is to create awareness about the magnitude of the problem and reduce the stigma associated with this condition.”

BMI or Body Mass Index is the most common way to determine whether a person is in the healthy weight range or not. A person with a BMI 30 and above is universally considered obese, as per WHO.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “People with obesity who reduce their weight by 5% will have improvements in metabolic function in many tissues, including fat, liver, and muscle. Further weight loss of 10 to 15% results in additional improvements. Apart from this simple lifestyle modifications can also bring about major changes.”

HCFI tips for managing obesity.

  • Cutting calories The key to weight loss is reducing how many calories you take in.
  • Feeling full on less The concept of energy density can help you satisfy your hunger with fewer calories.
  • Making healthier choices To make your overall diet healthier, eat more plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole-grain carbohydrates.
  • Physical activity Make exercise an important part of your daily routine. Start slow and increase the duration as you go along.

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