Created by the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, the Why Weight? tool is a guide for health care professionals to initiate effective conversations about weight and health with their patients.
Weight is a complex and sensitive issue, and conversations about weight can be challenging. Many factors are at play, not least of which may include feelings of failure, shame, and concerns about being judged by health care providers. Many providers have concerns about how to begin conversations about weight, what words to use, and how to communicate about weight while supporting their patients in ways that are empowering and nonjudgemental.
Providers report minimal, if any, training on obesity, inadequate resources for effective conversations, and insufficient clinical time to devote to conversations about weight. Read More
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Many patients want and expect weight loss guidance from health care providers. Weight-related discussions with providers can influence patient engagement in weight loss efforts.
Understanding the complexity of obesity is an important prerequisite for productive conversations about weight.
Lack of time, reimbursement, training, and effective tools and treatments are among them.
Many patients avoid or delay medical treatment due to concerns that their providers will not treat them with compassion and respect, or that their struggles will be dismissed as “not trying hard enough." Read More
Most patients with obesity have tried — often repeatedly — to lose weight and improve their health. At any given time, patients may be in one of five stages of behavior change. Read More
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Obesity treatment may feel like a futile undertaking. Yet, there is a range of effective and evidence-based treatments available. Read More
Health behavior decisions are heavily influenced by our environments and social norms.
Recognize that weight is about health, not appearance. Be aware that weight is a personal and often sensitive topic and tailor your interactions and words in ways that are productive, not stigmatizing. Read More