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Talking to Your Doctor About Obesity

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with obesity. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

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

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Obesity

  • Where do my weight, medical history, and family history place me on the risk scale for obesity-related diseases?
  • What should my weight reducing efforts be?
  • Is it possible that a medical condition is responsible for my excess weight?

About Your Risk of Developing Complications

  • Are there signs of complications emerging because of my weight? Which ones are the most dangerous?
  • What else can I do besides exercising and eating right?

About Treatment Options

  • Which treatment options do you specifically recommend for me?
  • When should I be referred to a dietitian for help with my diet?
  • Do I need to see a specialist in bariatric surgery or endocrinology?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Can my spouse, care provider, parent, food preparer, or other family member join our treatment discussions? These individuals are going to have to help me change my eating habits.
  • What changes do I need to make in my diet?
  • Do commercial weight-loss programs work?
  • I’m concerned that my children are overweight. What can I do?
  • What are the best exercises to help me lose weight?
  • Can you recommend 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 recommend who is particularly good with overweight patients?
  • Can you recommend a support group?
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References:

Obesity. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Update December 2016. Accessed February 23, 2017.
Obesity in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115009/Obesity-in-adults. Updated November 20, 2016. Accessed February 23, 2017.
Obesity in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. http://www.dynamed.... Updated January 30, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2017.
Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Updated May 2014. Accessed February 23, 2017.
Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 3/15/2015

 

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