A fifth of GPs underestimate patient weight

GPs are frequently misclassifying overweight and obese Australians as regular and even underweight, potentially hampering treatment efforts, a study suggests.

Patients are even worse at recognising their own weight status, with up to a quarter of overweight and obese patients not realising that their BMIs put them in those categories.

Researchers from the BEACH program recruited 204 GPs who noted patient-reported height and weight in consultations with more than 5000 adult patients.

The GPs were also asked to note whether they considered the patient underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.