Gaps to bridge: Misalignment between perception, reality andactions in obesity
Keywords: 
ACTION-IO
Attitudes
Barriers
International
Obesity
Perceptions
Issue Date: 
2019
Publisher: 
Wiley
ISSN: 
1462-8902
Note: 
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in anymedium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Citation: 
Caterson, I.D. (Ian D.); Alfadda, A.A. (Assim A.); Auerbach, P. (Pernille); et al. "Gaps to bridge: Misalignment between perception, reality andactions in obesity". Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. 21 (8), 2019, 1914 - 1924
Abstract
Aims:Despite increased recognition as a chronic disease, obesity remains greatlyunderdiagnosed and undertreated. We aimed to identify international perceptions,attitudes, behaviours and barriers to effective obesity care in people with obesity(PwO) and healthcare professionals (HCPs).Materials and methods:An online survey was conducted in 11 countries. Participantswere adults with obesity and HCPs who were primarily concerned with directpatient care.Results:A total of 14 502 PwO and 2785 HCPs completed the survey. Most PwO(68%) and HCPs (88%) agreed that obesity is a disease. However, 81% of PwOassumed complete responsibility for their own weight loss and only 44% of HCPsagreed that genetics were a barrier. There was a median of three (mean, six) yearsbetween the time PwO began struggling with excess weight or obesity and whenthey first discussed their weight with an HCP. Many PwO were concerned about theimpact of excess weight on health (46%) and were motivated to lose weight (48%).Most PwO (68%) would like their HCP to initiate a conversation about weight andonly 3% were offended by such a conversation. Among HCPs, belief that patientshave little interest in or motivation for weight management may constitute a barrierfor weight management conversations. When discussed, HCPs typically rec-ommended lifestyle changes; however, more referrals and follow-up appointmentsare required.Conclusions:Our international dataset reveals a need to increase understanding ofobesity and improve education concerning its physiological basis and clinical manage-ment. Realization that PwO are motivated to lose weight offers an opportunity forHCPs to initiate earlier weight management conversations.

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