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23 November 2007

Most Physicians Are Clueless About Obesity

University of Alberta researcher Tim Caulfield believes that most physicians are not prepared to deal with the current and worsening epidemic of obesity.

Physicians play a vital role in managing and identifying obesity. And in North America, by law, overweight and obese patients are entitled to the same level of care as the general public. But there are reasons to believe that the population of overweight patients is not, in many cases, receiving optimal care and advice.

Studies have shown that 83 percent of doctors are less likely to perform physical examinations on reluctant obese patients, and 17 percent admitted being reluctant to perform pelvic exams on obese patients. Another study found that a full quarter of physicians think that they are not competent or only slightly competent at recommending treatment for obese patients.

Steps should be taken, according to Caulfield, to ensure family physicians have the skills, tools and resources necessary to help their patients.

* Science Daily November 21, 2007

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