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Editor's Correspondence
October 11, 2004

Putting an Obesity "Call to Action" Into Action

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(18):No Pagination Specified. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.18.2067-a

The recent Special Article by Manson et al1 should be commended as a plea to clinicians to address and manage a problem that significantly impacts quality of life and increases morbidity and mortality.

The blueprint for action outlined by Manson et al1 provides a diagrammatic algorithm for the evaluation and counseling of an overweight patient with special emphasis on physical activity counseling. Although useful, the obesity care process involves multiple steps, ranging from initially broaching the subject of body weight with the patient to possible discussions on the risks and benefits of pharmacological or surgical therapy. The clinicians' confidence and willingness to engage in obesity care is likely to be enhanced by providing the knowledge, dialogue, communication skills, strategies, and resources needed to do so. Assessment and Management of Adult Obesity: A Primer for Physicians, in the American Medical Association's Roadmaps For Clinical Practice series, was written specifically for this purpose.2 The primer consists of 10 booklets on the evaluation process; assessing readiness and making treatment decisions; setting up the office environment; communication and counseling strategies; using physical activity and dietary, pharmacological, and surgical management; and suggested resources. Each booklet begins with a case presentation and is subdivided by targeted patient care–oriented questions that emphasize practical tips and expected outcomes. The primer is a valuable resource intended to fill the inertia gap that exists between guidelines and a call to action and what clinicians can actually do in the office setting.

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