Clinical Edge

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Perceived Barriers to Effective Obesity Care

Obesity; ePub 2017 Oct 31; Kaplan, Golden, et al

Obesity appears to be perceived as a disease, yet it is often not treated as such, researchers concluded after analyzing the results of a survey involving nearly 3,800 individuals. Participants included obese individuals (n=3,008), health practitioners (n=606), and employers (n=153) who completed cross-sectional surveys. Among the results:

  • <One-fourth of obese individuals said they lost 10% of their weight in the prior 3 years.
  • ~Two-thirds said they realized obesity is a disease; 54% worried about their future health.
  • 8 in every 10 felt the responsibility to lose weight was their total responsibility.
  • 72% of practitioners said they were responsible to contribute to weight loss efforts.
  • Just 2 in every 10 employers felt even partially responsible.
  • Clinicians said they were comfortable having weight-related conversations, but often did not have sufficient time for them.
  • ~One-fourth of obese individuals had a scheduled follow-up to initial weight-related conversations.
  • Only 17% found employer wellness programs helpful.


Kaplan L, Golden A, Jinnett K, et al. Perceptions of barriers to effective obesity care: Results from the National ACTION Study. [Published online ahead of print October 31, 2017]. Obesity. doi:10.1002/oby.22054.

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