Doctors should screen for obesity

The government intervenes

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends doctors screen for obesity and devise obesity interventions.

These include group weight management sessions, individual sessions, setting weight-loss goals, improving diet or nutrition, physical activity sessions, addressing barriers to change, active self-policing and maintenance of lifestyle changes.

Many doctors check for height and weight but do not screen body mass index (BMI). Doctors ought to screen and inform patients who are clinically obese—that is, who have a BMI of 30 or greater, the panel said, after a study was released showing adults can lose weight with the proper encouragement.

Interventions, such as those recommended, may “lead to an average weight loss of 4 to 7 kg…These interventions also improve glucose tolerance and other physiologic risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” the task force wrote.

Over a third of the American adult population is obese. Risk factors include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer, sleep apnea and more.

U.S. Preventative Services Task Force

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is “an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention that systematically reviews the evidence of effectiveness and develops recommendations for clinical preventive services.” The task force, a panel of primary care physicians and epidemiologists, is funded, staffed, and appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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