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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Care Providers’ Understanding of Obesity Treatment is Limited, According to GW Study

Despite the high prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults, provision of recommended treatments for obesity remains low. Providers cite lack of time, lack of reimbursement, and lack of knowledge as major barriers to treating patients with obesity. A new study published in Obesity assessed health care professionals’ (HCPs’) knowledge of evidence-based guidelines for nonsurgical treatment of obesity.

[Photo: Dr. William Dietz]

In this study, the authors conducted a web-based survey of a nationally representative sample of 1506 internists, family practitioners, obstetricians/gynecologists, and nurse practitioners to determine their understanding of obesity treatment guidelines. The results indicate that most providers lack knowledge and understanding of recommended obesity treatments, such as behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy.

Author Dr. William Dietz, past president of The Obesity Society, director of the STOP Obesity Alliance and chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University (GW), said, “Our findings offer health professionals and medical educators a strong rationale for incorporating enhanced training on the prevention and management of obesity into their curricula.”

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