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This post is focused on empowering you to overcome obstacles that get in the way of talking to your doctor about your weight concerns

This post is focused on empowering you to overcome obstacles that get in the way of talking to your doctor about your weight concerns

This post is sponsored by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk, Inc. to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own.

A few months ago, I published a very heartfelt and enlightening blog post to help generate awareness about obesity in partnership with Med-IQ, an accredited medical education company that provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. I was excited to partner with Med-IQ because they are trailblazers in the health education industry and they are on the forefront of disseminating the most up-to-date medical and disease information to healthcare providers around the world.

In my previous post, I discussed the many factors that contribute to obesity, but most importantly I shared that obesity is a disease caused by genetic and environmental factors that can be difficult to control through dieting alone. The most poignant message that I shared was that it’s time for us to make an effort to stop labeling people as ‘being obese’ which perpetuates a blaming mentality and shift to the more appropriate and positive person centered language of ‘having obesity’.

In this follow-up post, I want to focus on the importance of being an advocate for your own health especially when it comes to discussions about your weight. Specifically, I want to share some interesting insights as a result of the Med-IQ survey that accompanied the first wave of obesity education posts as well as give you some tips on how to talk to your healthcare provider about your weight concerns.

Reasons Why Patients Don’t Bring Up Weight Discussions with Their Doctor

  • Many patients are reluctant to talk about their weight issues with their doctor because a significant portion are embarrassed or to a lesser extent they don’t know how to start the conversation
  • In contrast, the vast majority of patients who have spoken to their doctor about their weight have not felt heard and felt that their doctor glossed over their concerns and did not thoroughly explore their individual history of weight gain and loss
  • About half of the respondents surveyed will avoid going to the doctor because they fear being judged for having gained weight and for not being able to manage their weight on their own
  • Truth be told, most doctors are also reluctant to bring up weight discussions with their patients because they do not want to embarrass, fail or hurt them

This post is focused on empowering you to overcome obstacles that get in the way of talking to your doctor about your weight concerns

How to Have a Positive Weight Discussion with Your Doctor According to the Obesity Experts at Med-IQ

  • If you want to discuss your health and weight with your healthcare provider, make an appointment specifically to discuss your weight concerns so that both you and your doctor can come prepared to talk about your challenges. Do not try to squeeze a weight discussion into an appointment that you made for another health concern, because in all honesty it will not get the attention that it deserves
  • Be proactive and bring up your health and weight concerns with your doctor first, don’t wait for them to start the discussion. As I previously mentioned, they may be afraid to bring it up first!
  • Negative emotions tied to discussing weight make this a sensitive and difficult topic, but it doesn’t have to be that way! If you re-frame your negative weight concerns and bring it up with your doctor in the context of your overall healthcare needs, this can provide a nice segue into a discussion about weight management

Qualities to Look for in a Great Weight Management Doctor According to the Leading Experts at Med-IQ 

  • They should be a partner and advocate for your weight management and overall health
  • They should listen to your concerns, show interest in your personal weight journey and ask you to share your story of weight gain and loss
  • They should provide thoughtful care or a referral to a provider who specializes in obesity care, which should be comprehensive and include psychological counseling, different approaches to dietary and lifestyle modification and medical and surgical treatment options
  • They should remain a part of your weight management journey, even if they are not the one who directly provides the weight management care
  • Beware of doctors who blame all of your health concerns on your weight, offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach or who show minimal interest in your weight struggles and concerns

The bottom line is that weight issues are complex and obesity is a disease with multiple causes and it is not about personal willpower or just the foods that you eat. I hope this post sheds light on the fact that long-term success in weight management requires a partnership with a provider that you can trust.

This post is focused on empowering you to overcome obstacles that get in the way of talking to your doctor about your weight concerns

One last thing that I would love your help with in order to help other people learn ways to understand, manage and treat obesity. Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey which includes additional education on this topic and will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with obesity and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives. Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative. Take the survey HERE

Links to external sites are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. They are not intended and should not be construed as legal or medical advice, nor are they endorsements of any organization. Med-IQ bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of any external site. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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  1. You always have such good and calm advice, thank you so much!

  2. This is great info. Talking about weight can be such a sensitive topic!

    1. Yes, that’s why this project was so meaningful to me

  3. Lucy Clarke says:

    This is such a wonderful guide. It would really be great to consult and ask for a professional opinion because gaining weight may also be caused by an underlying medical concern.

    1. Yes, talking to your doctor is always the first step

  4. Marie Phillips says:

    Women’s hormones alone can do such a number on weight management. There are so many things going on that make it a constant challenge for women. Talking to our doctors is necessary, but many of them don’t have the right answers! This is tough all around–your article is a great start in taking care of this critical issue.

    1. Yes, I totally agree as I am at the beginning of menopause and it adds another curve ball to weight struggles

  5. These are really excellent tips. I’ve been overweight, lost a lot of weight with proper healthy diet and exercising so I understand the struggle. I didn’t have any help from my doctor, but glad to see things are changing now.

    1. Glad you found something that works for you! I really want patients to know that the right doctor makes all the difference

  6. Kita Bryant says:

    It is great to consult your doctor about your weight. They have great ideas for helping you get healthy.

  7. Toni Dash says:

    This is very enlightening! I find it really hard to talk about weight problems. Thanks for this.

  8. Gervin Khan says:

    To be honest, talking about weight issues is hard but it’s also important. I gained weight during this lockdown but now I am trying to manage losing it by doing workout and eating a right food. Thank you for all your tips

    1. Yes me too and I am a great wellness plan now

  9. I have struggled with my weight for a long time. I do feel uncomfortable bringing it up to my doctor. I think making an appointment just to discuss weight is a good idea.

    1. I am so glad this article helped you take the first step Sherry

  10. blair villanueva says:

    I agree with this that we need to feel confident to talk about our weight to someone whom we beleive is non-judgemental. I would prefer this online consultation, and will saves me time and effort going to the clinic.

    1. I am sure that you can do it online too, especially with what is going on right now

  11. I know alot of people who wouldn’t even think of going to a doctor unless critical. It’s a good idea to discuss this kind of topics with your doctor especially if it will have a big impact in the future.

  12. There are so many awesome tips here. Weight is definitely a sensitive subject and can be difficult to talk about. Thank you for sharing these tips!

    cute & little

    1. My pleasure, I hope they help people take steps towards improving their health

  13. These are all good points to consider. Weight is an important thing to discuss with your doctor.

  14. Tara Pittman says:

    Being overweight is hard to talk about but like you said there could be a medical issue. For me, I was low in protein and once I starting eating more protein that help me to lose weight.

    1. So true, it’s different for everyone and talking about normalizes it. Thank you for sharing!

  15. This is a sensitive subject for many, but you should feel safe and comfortable with your doctor and empowered to share any health concerns. Thank you for working to help in this area.

    1. Yes you should speak with your doctor and I hope these guidelines help!

  16. I never really thought about it being embarrassing to talk to you doctor about weight concerns, but it totally makes sense. Great information, because the doctor is really there to help, and if there are ways to feel more comfortable speaking them them about it, awesome!

  17. Gervin Khan says:

    Some people don’t eat because they said they’re on diet but little did they know that they’re doing it wrong. I want to share this article to those people.

  18. I have a friend who has struggled with her weight for year. I can definitely see that it’s so much more than just eating too much. She exercises and eats right and researches, and she still has issues. It’s so hard on her.

    1. Yes that’s the whole point for some people the fix isn’t simple or easy

  19. These are excellent tips. I especially like the watch-out for doctors who blame everything on your weight. Sure, excess weight impacts a lot, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you may have going on if your overweight.

    1. Exactly, and the right doctor will know to look beyond that!

  20. Luckily I don’t actually have to face such problems but thanks for bringing this to those some have issues about this. I think you post will be helpful to a lot of people out there.

  21. Cristina Petrini says:

    Nowadays the digital is meeting us in every respect and the medical one is not to be underestimated. You have done well to describe in detail everything that this service offers.

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