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Use Weight-First Approach to Educate Patients about Obesity’s Role in HTN


An obesity specialist discusses the importance of using a weight-first approach when educating patients about obesity's role in the development and worsening of hypertension.

A decrease in body weight by 1 kg results in a reduction of approximately 1 mmHg of blood pressure, said Jonathan Parker, DO, MS, president of the Alabama Obesity Society, in a recent interview with Patient Care Online. “If you treat a patient’s weight first, their blood pressure is going to improve,” continued Dr Parker. When educating patients with obesity about how the condition contributes to hypertension (HTN), clinicians should remember to talk compassionately and calmly without putting the blame on them, said Dr Parker, who is also a family and obesity medicine physician at Avalon Medical Group in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

“I cannot say this enough: patients have been so attacked when it comes to their weight,” stated Dr Parker. “Providers are either afraid to bring it up or attack and blame their patients…if we can compassionately, calmly talk to our patients using objective language and tell them it is not their fault, then absolutely, they would want to be engaged with their provider about their weight.”

More of the conversation in the video below.

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