Original Research

Willingness to Take Weight Loss Medication Among Obese Primary Care Patients



This study has important limitations. The sample size was modest and potentially underpowered to detect small differences across different subgroups. Our sample was also limited to practices in Boston, which limits generalizability; although, by design, we oversampled racial and ethnic subjects to ensure diverse representation. Finally, our study examined patients’ hypothetical willingness to take weight loss medications rather than their actual adherence to treatment if offered.


In this sample of obese primary care patients, we found that the majority of patients were willing to take a daily medication to lose weight; however, patients had expectations for weight loss that far exceeded the level achievable by patients in pharmaceutical trials of these agents. Men and patients with diabetes were more likely to be willing to pursue weight loss medication; however, lower weight-related QOL, especially low self-esteem and impaired sexual function, appeared to be a stronger correlate of willingness to consider pharmacotherapy than comorbid diagnoses.

Corresponding author: Christina C. Wee, MD, MPH, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215, cwee@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Funding/support: This study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R01 DK073302, PI Wee). Dr. Wee is also supported by an NIH midcareer mentorship award (K24DK087932). The sponsor had no role in the design or conduct of the study; the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

Financial disclosures: None reported.

Next Article: