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Update - Weight-loss improved with structured help

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VOL: 102, ISSUE: 39, PAGE NO: 40

Obese patients are reluctant to discuss their weight during GP consultations due to social stigma and their perception that they are responsible for their condition. These are some of the findings of a qualitative study of 28 patients carried out in five GP surgeries in Sheffield.

Obese patients are reluctant to discuss their weight during GP consultations due to social stigma and their perception that they are responsible for their condition. These are some of the findings of a qualitative study of 28 patients carried out in five GP surgeries in Sheffield.

The authors suggest that GPs and nurses need to be prepared to handle discussions about weight loss in an honest way and that good communication can help to motivate patients. They also suggest that more resources are needed to manage obesity in general practice.

Lack of resources was also identified as a problem in the results of the Counterweight Project run in 65 GP surgeries across the UK. The project found that training nurses to provide severely obese patients with structured weight-loss management programmes can achieve weight loss and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels in this patient group. Practice nurses were trained by dietitians to give lifestyle advice at six
individual appointments or group sessions.

The findings follow the publication of figures from the DH indicating that a third of the population will be obese by 2010.

Information about the project can be accessed from www.counterweight.org.

British Journal of General Practice;56: 530, 66-73.

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