February 9, 2009

Windows of Opportunity for Smoking and Weight Loss Counseling

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2009 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2009

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(3):217-218. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.541

Obesity and smoking are the 2 leading preventable causes of death in the United States.1 Evidence-based treatments for smoking cessation and weight loss have been established, yet only a minority of patients receive these treatments.2 Physicians have an important role via patient counseling that involves assessing, advising, agreeing on set goals, assisting the patient in getting needed support, and arranging follow-up. These steps are referred to as the 5 A’s and are effective in helping patients make lifestyle changes.3,4 Despite the best efforts to counsel, patient motivation can be an undeniable barrier. Identifying windows of opportunity for patient receptiveness to lifestyle changes could help guide physicians as to when counseling will have the greatest effect.

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