A US panel, the US Preventative Services Task Force or USPSTF has recently recommended that all adults be screened for the presence of obesity. More people are becoming obese than ever before and the repercussions of being obese are serious when it comes to health.
What’s recommended is that the doctors measure the height and weight of adult subjects and calculate the BMI, which is the weight in kg divided by the height in meter squared. A BMI of between 19 and 25 (23 for Asians) is considered normal. A BMI of over 30 is considered obese and a BMI of greater than 40 is considered markedly obese. If your BMI is greater than 25 (23 for Asians) but less than 30, you are considered overweight.
Currently, the BMI is being checked only 40 percent of the time and 33 percent actually talk to their patients about weight loss. The truth is that most doctors aren’t trained to discuss obesity and feel it’s a sensitive issue to talk about a patient’s weight. Doctors who themselves weigh too much are less likely to talk to their patients about losing weight.
It is estimated that 43 percent of people will be obese by 2030 in US. This means that more doctors will have to learn how to give good, specific advice about weight loss for patients. Some patients will respond well to exercise in order to lose weight while others will respond better to specific diets. It all depends on the patient and their ability to exercise or follow a diet carefully.
Some experts say that doctors are reluctant to deal with patients who have obesity. They feel that patients who are obese are not doing enough to help themselves and should treat their own obesity without complaining about all the side effects they have because they haven’t treated their obesity themselves.
The USPSTF has also provided doctors with specific guidelines as to how to handle patient’s obesity issues. It recommends getting a BMI every physical and to follow the BMI until patients are beginning to lose weight. Weight loss programs are recommended for people who have a BMI of greater than 30. The programs offer behavior dimensions and nutritional counseling along with support groups to help patients lose weight faster.
A good weight loss program involves between 12 and 26 sessions of weight loss counseling per year that can help patients learn how to monitor their eating and exercise over the course of time. Food diaries and a pedometer can make a great difference in losing weight.