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Invited Commentary
February 28, 2011

Is Primary Care Practice Equipped to Deal With Obesity?Comment on “Preventing Weight Gain by Lifestyle Intervention in a General Practice Setting”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research (Dr Haire-Joshu) and Center for Human Nutrition (Dr Klein), Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(4):313-315. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.3

Obesity is associated with a long list of serious medical complications that impair health, reduce quality of life, and shorten lifespan.1 These complications can be improved or completely resolved by weight loss. Therefore, obesity is a legitimate medical concern that should involve the implementation of therapeutic weight loss by primary practice physicians. However, an evaluation of a large primary care database in the United States found that only 20% of obese patients were given a diagnosis of obesity, and only 40% of those patients were given an obesity management plan.2 These data suggest that general medical practices are not addressing the issue of weight management in obese patients.

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