by: Sunil Daniel, MD, FTOS
OAC National Board Member
My name is Sunil Daniel and I am an obesity medicine physician caring for those affected by overweight and/or obesity. I am also a patient affected by obesity, and because of this, I experience the challenges of a long-term weight management journey on a daily basis. That’s why I am supporting National Obesity Care Week (NOCW) and encouraging all healthcare providers (HCP’s) to partner with patients in their weight management journey!
NOCW2018 Supports Quality Health Partnerships
The partnership between patients and HCP’s begins by creating a bias-free environment where patients can be heard without feeling judged. Patients are also overwhelmed by contradictory information, misinformation, weight bias and a sense of failure. While discussing body weight with a provider, patients are often very guarded and full of distress and self-blame. This is when the attitude and approach of HCP’s matter most. Start with the 5 A’s:
How HCP’s Can Help
HCP’s can use this opportunity to educate patients on science-based treatments for obesity. These consist of lifestyle modification, pharmacotherapy and surgery. A treatment plan should always be developed in partnership with the patient. Obesity is a chronic disease and long-term weight management is often challenging.
HCP’s who understand the complexity and its treatment paths are better able to help patients set the right expectations and guide/support them through the ups and downs of their journeys. And when appropriate, referral to a board certified Obesity Medicine Physician or other specialized providers should be considered.
And finally, always use People-first language when addressing those who are affected by overweight and/or obesity. This erases stigma and separates individuals from their disease.
Help Me Support NOCW2018!
National Obesity Care Weeks kicks off in less than a week, October 7-13, and I am asking all of you to join me in support of the campaign by taking the pledge to change the way we care about obesity! Whether you’re a healthcare provider, patient, policy maker or you simply care about the cause, join us as we work to advance obesity care and erase weight stigma. Take the pledge today and show your support at: ObesityCareWeek.org/Action.