Advise and Consent

June 2, 2016

By Eric Seaborg

Obesity is such a sensitive issue that many physicians avoid discussing it. Here are some tips on the right (and wrong) ways to broach the subject.

Talking to patients about their weight is a critical task that many physicians find difficult — and even embarrassing. Too many physicians find it so uncomfortable that they avoid it altogether. Or they become so frustrated because “patients don’t listen” that their approach ends up being counter-productive.

But it is worth the effort because it can make a big difference if done in a sensitive manner, according to Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, medical director of the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance at George Washington University.

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