Weight management practices and evidence for weight loss through primary care: a brief review
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OBJECTIVE: The optimal role for primary care in the management of overweight and obesity is yet to be determined. This review examines current weight management practices in primary care and summarizes the evidence for weight loss interventions based in primary care settings. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: PubMed was searched for literature on weight management in primary care published from 2000 onwards. Forty-one articles were included. RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight and obesity is high among primary care patients, yet frequently under-diagnosed by general practitioners. When diagnosed, weight management practices are highly variable. Evidence supporting effective long term interventions for weight loss in primary care is limited. Consistency of outcome measures, explicit reporting of attrition rates and assessment of motivation at inclusion are critical for interpreting results. CONCLUSIONS: An approach to weight management that includes the involvement of disciplines other than general practice appears to be more successful. Further research is required to determine the most effective approach in primary care.
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