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How Do You Approach a Patient About Weight Loss?



“Well, the doctor didn’t say anything during my visit, so it must not be a problem.”

Those are the thoughts of many patients as they leave their doctor’s office after another visit where their weight was not discussed. Medical providers have the dubious task of making sure they address their patients’ health issues to the best of their ability. They also must be inoffensive while doing so. It’s a difficult duty to be charged with. But if you aren’t discussing a patient’s weight, are you effectively addressing their health? When it comes to weight loss, the evidence is clear: a doctor recommendations to their patients about weight loss is effective.

How do you approach a patient about weight loss? Start with:

• Ask permission to discuss weight
• Ask open-ended questions
• Build trust, don’t judge
• Focus on health and not weight

More times than not the most difficult step in a journey is the first one — it’s the same with a doctor talking about weight loss to a patient. Bringing up your concerns about your patient’s weight may prove to be the most burdensome part of the conversation. To alleviate some of the awkwardness, be non-offensive and compassionate. Don’t blame, provoke guilt, or judge. This is a collaborative effort that will have the best results when there is involvement and trust amongst everyone. Once the trust is established it will be easier to have an open discussion, and the provider will be better equipped with information from the patient to address underlying issues for being overweight.

However, none of this means much if the patient isn’t fully invested in losing weight. Be prepared to explore and gauge a patient’s readiness and motivation to change. Discuss your concern about their weight, and the impact weight loss would have on their health and quality of life. This is a big step for a patient and if it proves to be successful they won’t come out the same person they went in as. Set goals with your patient, both long and short term. Make them challenging but attainable; a dieter can lose interest with a challenge if it’s too difficult or too easy. It’s a balance. Help your patient identify success and be prepared to offer solutions. Nutrition, behavior modification, exercise assistance — all these and more should be discussed.

Physicians are in a unique position of being able to change lives through obesity treatment. Obesity is the most impactful disease of the 21st century. This is an opportunity that we can’t afford to miss.

Robard Corporation provides customers a comprehensive guide and a video on how to talk to their patients about their weight. Call us for more information about Robard and our guide.

Source: Robard Corporation Business Development Department, 800.222.9201.



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VIDEO: Julie Roth’s Weight Loss Journey

A dieter’s weight loss journey can have peaks and valleys; however, the most gratifying part has to be when you experience the joy of success during your journey or when you finally reach your goal. We’ve told you about John Blair and Jim Carpenter, now we’d like to introduce you to Julie Roth.

Julie weighed 348 pounds when she started her weight loss journey. In 20 months, she lost roughly 200 pounds on the New Direction System. Now, she says, she is healthier at age 38 than she was at 18. Julie also set her sights on other goals, such as completing a half marathon, but it was the simpler things, such as being able to do housework without taking a break, that she appreciated the most about her new weight.

In the following video, Julie shares her success story with us:



There are countless stories like Julie’s. We firmly believe that weight loss is not just about losing weight — it’s about changing people’s lives. If you’re a provider that would like to hear about Robard programs and products, such as the New Direction System, please fill out our Become a Provider form.  If you’re a dieter interested starting your weight loss journey, fill out our Find a Clinic form and we will find some weight loss programs in your area for you to get started!

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Poor Protein and Carbohydrate Food Choices Lead to Weight Gain



Glycemic load (GL) is a term often associated with type 2 diabetes. It’s a barometer of how much food needs to be consumed to raise blood glucose. However, what about its relation to weight gain? That’s what researchers from Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University sought to find out.

In a study that consisted of 120,000 men and women and more than 16 years of follow-up exploration, researchers concluded high-GL diets containing simple carbohydrates such as refined grains, starches, and sugars were connected to weight gain. Now even if you don’t think the GL is important, the foods they refer to are. Additional findings from the study:
 
• Increasing intakes of red meat and processed meat were most strongly associated with weight gain

• Increasing intakes of yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken, and nuts were most strongly associated with weight loss — the more people ate, the less weight they gained

• Increasing other dairy products, including full-fat cheese, whole milk, and low-fat milk, did not significantly relate to either weight gain or weight loss

It’s not as simple saying “all carbs are bad” and “all proteins are good,” it rarely ever is. “Some foods help prevent weight gain, others make it worse,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, senior author of the study. “Most interestingly, the combination of foods seems to make a big difference. Our findings suggest we should not only emphasize specific protein-rich foods like fish, nuts, and yogurt to prevent weight gain, but also focus on avoiding refined grains, starches, and sugars in order to maximize the benefits of these healthful protein-rich foods, create new benefits for other foods like eggs and cheese, and reduce the weight gain associated with meats.” 

Your heart may mean well with some of your food choices, but may fall short on being part of a healthy diet. Make wise food choices in smart combinations and you won’t just have a healthy diet; you’ll have a diet that can boost weight loss with proper physical activity.


Source: Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus
 
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