• Heart Failure
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
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Does Patient Health Crisis Motivate Weight Loss?


Diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart disease, congestive heart failure, osteoarthritis, low back pain, GERD, obstructive sleep apnea? What does it take?

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on April 8 found that significant weight gain or onset of an obesity-related comorbidity or a critical health event prompted patients in a VA primary care population to enter a behavioral weight-loss program.

A primary message, study authors note, is that such a situation may provide a unique opportunity to open a frank discussion about weight loss.

The study found that patients were more likely to initiate treatment if they had a recent ≥3% weight gain or were newly diagnosed with any obesity-related illness. Weight change and new comorbidity diagnoses, however, were not associated with sustained participation in the weight-loss program.

Does this ring true for you?

   o Have you found that a life situation such as “reaching my highest ever weight,” onset of diabetes or heart disease, or a weight-related health crisis motivates a patient to make a committed effort to lose weight?

   o If "yes," how do you help sustain the commitment?

   o If "no," what step do you take next?

   o What outcomes have you seen?

Would you please leave your answer and comments below? Your experience may help your primary care colleagues with the often intractable and frustrating problem of patietn obesity. You can also read the full study, here.



McVay MA, Yancy WS, Vijan S, et al. Obesity-related health status changes and weight loss treatment utilization. Am J Prev Med. 2014;46:465–472.



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