Do family physicians treat obese patients?

Fam Med. 1993 Jun;25(6):401-2.


Background: The purpose of this study was to characterize what patient and physician factors increase the likelihood of physicians counseling weight loss in their overweight patients.

Methods: A retrospective chart survey of 418 outpatient charts from 50 family medicine residents and faculty was conducted.

Results: Of the 267 patients who were overweight based on a body mass index score of more than 27, only 29.6% had been instructed to lose weight. Overweight patients with hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, or coronary artery disease were instructed to lose weight 32.9% of the time. Patient age or sex and physician age, sex, or level of training did not affect the frequency of treatment.

Conclusion: Physicians need to be more aggressive in their counseling of overweight patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies