Medical Journal proposes tailored guidelines for GPs to tackle adult obesity

29/01/2019 News Europe , Policy 966 Views
Medical Journal proposes tailored guidelines for GPs to tackle adult obesity

On January 23, the European Journal of Obesity published a scientific article entitled “European Practical and Patient-Centred Guidelines for Adult Obesity Management in Primary Care”, counting with the contribution of Dr Daniel Widmer, UEMO’s Vice-President.

As the title indicates, the essential message of this piece of literature puts General Practitioners (GPs) at the frontline of the fight against obesity, in particular, by developing concise, practical, patient-centred and well-illustrated guidelines for GPs. Being the first point of contact to patients, GPs hold a significant power in communicating with patients as this step is crucial to establish a good therapeutic alliance. As expressed in the article, communication is a fundamental aspect of obesity treatment.

Overall, the proposed guidelines are said to be easily transferred into daily practice and they are based on topics which are often neglected: communicating with patients suffering from obesity and motivating them to change, patient therapeutic education, and avoiding stigmatization.  Additionally, a thorough clinical evaluation ought to be taken into account in order to assess whether obesity dates back from childhood as this will determine different management approaches.  Once determined the main causes of obesity, the treatment goals follows. Here, the important aspect is to prevent complications by trying to keep the patient metabolically healthy, to prevent or to treat comorbidities – if they are already present – to fight against social stigma and to restore well-being, positive body image and self-esteem.

The authors fully acknowledge that not all GPs may be able to strictly follow all the recommendations set out in the academic paper, due to time constraints or other factors. Instead, they may individually select the necessary and relevant information available based on their view, judgement and “philosophy” related to obesity management.

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