Weighty issues rarely discussed with GPs

Patients with higher BMIs reluctant to seek help on reducing waistline

Most overweight Australians appear reluctant to discuss their weight with GPs, with only one in 10 raising the topic with their doctor, research shows.

The findings highlight the importance of GPs looking for opportunities to talk about weight management while patients are young and before they develop weight-related illnesses, the researchers say.

“It can be difficult for some GPs to navigate the weight-related stigma or psychological concerns patients can experience,” says lead researcher Dr Michelle Kilpatrick (PhD), from the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research.

In the study, researchers looked at National Health Survey data of 15,000 people to examine the characteristics and proportion of Australians who had reported discussing reaching a healthy weight with a GP.

The findings showed that 10% of overweight patients had raised the issue of reaching a healthy weight with