New toolkit launches to help GPs manage obesity

Patient trust in GPs could be the 'missing link' in weight loss management, says GP researcher

Move over Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers — a new lifestyle-based toolkit that uses GP consultations to help patients drop excess kilos is being rolled out to general practices around Australia.

The Change Program, developed by researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra, was recently introduced to the western Sydney region, with others to follow in 2019. 

Dr Liz Sturgiss, who helped create the toolkit, says it’s the first program of its kind in Australia to help GPs work with their patients on long-term lifestyle changes.

“GPs are very accessible and well placed to help patients with obesity and this program is a way for us to do that well,” says Dr Sturgiss, a clinician-researcher with the ANU College of Health and Medicine.

“Patients have established trusting relationships with their GP and that viewpoint could be a missing link in obesity management.