Talking to Your Doctor About Obesity

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with obesity. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it simpler for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Obesity

  • Where do my weight, health history, and family history place me on the risk scale for obesity-related health problems?
  • What should I do to lower my weight?
  • Is a health problem the cause of my excess weight?

About Your Risk of Health Problems

  • Are there signs of any health problems from my weight? Which ones cause the most harm?
  • What else can I do besides exercising and eating right?

About Treatments

  • Which treatment options are best for me?
  • Should I see a dietitian to get help with meal planning?
  • Do I need to see a specialist?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Can friends, family members, or other health providers join our treatment talks? They will help me change my habits.
  • What changes do I need to make in my diet?
  • Do commercial weight-loss programs work?
  • What are the best exercises to help me lose weight?
  • Can you refer me to an athletic trainer or fitness facility in my area?
  • Where can I get more information about weight loss?

About Your Outlook

  • Is there a counselor you can refer me to who helps people who have obesity?
  • Do you know of any support groups?


Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline on pharmacological management of obesity can be found in J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015 Feb;100(2):342-362.
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Obesity. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Updated January 2020. Accessed January 31, 2020.
Obesity in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated November 30, 2018. Accessed January 31, 2020.
Obesity in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. https://www.dyname.... Updated October 30, 2019. Accessed January 31, 2020.
Treatment. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Accessed January 31, 2020.
Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD